WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Bill Cosby's wife was ordered on Tuesday to continue her deposition in a civil defamation lawsuit in Massachusetts filed by seven women who allege the comedian sexually assaulted them decades ago.
A federal magistrate judge ruled that Camille Cosby must sit for another day of questioning from the women's lawyers. The 72-year-old Cosby, who was not present in court, had sought to terminate the proceedings, or at least limit it.
She sat for the first part of the deposition in February in Springfield, near where the family has a home in rural Massachusetts. The second session is now scheduled for April 19.
Joe Cammarata, a lawyer for the women, called it a "good day" in court because his team will be able to continue their questioning. He said Camille Cosby is to be deposed in Boston at a location to be determined for no more than 5 hours and 45 minutes, based on the judge's order.
Bill Cosby's camp also claimed victory.
Spokesman Andrew Wyatt said the judge denied the request to end the proceedings but also granted Camille Cosby's request to limit the types of questions asked going forward, prohibiting plaintiffs from asking "improper questions," including those involving protected communications between husband and wife.
Massachusetts' marital disqualification rule says a spouse doesn't have to testify about private marital conversations.
Cosby's lawyers complained in court filings of "a litany of improper and offensive questions" asked during the first session.
They said Cammarata questioned Camille Cosby about her sexual relations and her opinion of the honesty and integrity of her husband — questions they argued were "designed to annoy, embarrass, and oppress the witness."
Cammarata countered in court filings that Camille Cosby refused to answer dozens of questions based on an overly broad interpretation of the marital disqualification rule, attorney-client privilege and a "non-existent" privilege of privacy.
Camille Cosby's deposition in the civil lawsuit comes as her husband, who starred in The Cosby Show, faces criminal charges in Pennsylvania.
The 78-year-old comedian is charged with sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Cosby, who is out on bail, has pleaded not guilty.
The women in the defamation case claim Cosby tainted their reputations when he allowed his representatives to brand them as liars after they went public with their allegations of sexual assault.
They are among about 50 women who have come forward to claim that Cosby forced unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby denies their allegations.