Cosby will not be deposed next month in Massachusetts lawsuit, judge rules

WORCESTER, Mass. -- Bill Cosby will not be deposed next month in a lawsuit accusing him of defaming seven women who accuse him of sexual assault, but his wife will be, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

See Full Article

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Hennessy agreed to hold off on the comedian's deposition, scheduled for Feb. 22, as Cosby now faces criminal charges in Pennsylvania. His wife, Camille, will instead be deposed that day, the judge said.

Camille Cosby had been set to be deposed by lawyers for the women this month, but, at her lawyer's request, Hennessy agreed to a postponement as her lawyers appeal his decision to deny their bid to throw out the subpoena altogether.

Hennessy on Wednesday also rejected a proposal by the comedian's lawyers that would have kept a significant amount of material in the case out of the public eye.

Instead, he proposed more limited protections focused on certain sensitive information that might be disclosed in depositions, such as Social Security numbers, bank accounts and addresses. The order would not affect other materials and documents gathered in the pretrial discovery phase.

Both sides in court agreed to put the procedure in writing by Jan. 20.

"It was a compromise, and I think it was fair," Joseph Cammarata, a lawyer for the seven women, said after the hearing. "This is an appropriate order protecting what may be legitimate concerns for confidentiality on a question-by-question basis. It's not a unilateral blanket protection. It's very limited in scope."

Cosby's lawyers, who declined to comment after the hearing, had originally sought to have all depositions and documents produced during the pretrial discovery phase kept confidential for up to 14 days. Either side would then be allowed to request the judge seal the records for longer.

Cosby's lawyers said in court filings that they proposed the order because the other side was seeking "irrelevant and extraordinarily invasive and intimate details" of Cosby's life and "have made clear they intend to publicize every aspect of discovery in the case."

Among the information being sought: the identities of all Cosby's sexual partners since 1968 who were not his wife, the dates of the sexual encounters and all Cosby's medical records over the past 35 years, including those specifically dealing with "erectile and/or other sexual dysfunction, sexual paraphilia and/or sexual fetish," according to Cosby's lawyers.

Cammarata, in his briefs, argued Cosby's proposal would damage transparency in a case of great public interest.

He also said there are valid reasons why he sought Cosby's medical and sexual histories, including Cosby's past statements that he obtained quaaludes for various joint and body pains.

The seven women are among approximately 50 across the country who have come forward with allegations that Cosby plied them with drugs and alcohol before sexually assaulting them. He denies the accusations.

In other developments, Cosby's lawyer Marshall Searcy said Wednesday that he was considering asking for a postponement in the defamation case in light of the Pennsylvania criminal charges.

"It's a new situation. It's a fluid situation. And we're trying to decide on the best approach," he said.

The 78-year old actor was charged Dec. 30 with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman inside his home near Philadelphia in 2004. It's the first criminal case brought against him.

In response, Cammarata called on the judge to set a deadline for when Cosby's lawyers should file that postponement request.

Cammarata also objected to his clients being subjected to depositions while Cosby is allowed more time.

"We want to keep the case moving," he said. "But we don't want it one-sided."

Hennessy didn't immediately rule on Cammarata's request.


Latest Entertainment News

  • 'The Walking Dead': Michael Cudlitz says no one is safe in Season 7

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Fans of The Walking Dead might still be mourning the victims of Sunday night’s shocking Season 7 premiere, but they shouldn’t feel too bad for the actors involved. Michael Cudlitz, who played the gruff-but-tender ex-soldier Abraham, says coming into AMC’s zombie apocalypse drama without the assumption that your character will be killed off at some point is foolish. Source
  • Q&A: 'Walking Dead' director on who got killed-off in 'horrible' new episode

    Entertainment CTV News
    After six seasons of relentless blood, gore and anguish, it's probably more difficult to shock and appall the fans of "The Walking Dead" compared to most other shows. But Sunday night's season 7 premiere managed to do both. Source
  • Heath Ledger had 'Joker shrine' set up in his apartment: report

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Heath Ledger took his role as The Joker so seriously, he transformed his New York City loft into a shrine to the character, law enforcement sources tell Page Six. The gossip site reports after Ledger died of an overdose in 2008, cops entered his home to find he was an obsessed Batman superfan who filled his apartment with Batman comics, clown statues, and books about clown performers. Source
  • Singer Pete Burns of '80s band Dead or Alive dies at 57

    Entertainment CBC News
    Pete Burns of 1980s pop band Dead or Alive, best known for its worldwide hit You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), has died of a heart attack at the age of 57. The British singer-songwriter's management team confirmed Monday that Burns died of "a massive cardiac arrest" a day earlier. Source
  • Madeleine Thien, Canada's newest literary star, a favourite to win prestigious Man Booker Prize

    Entertainment CBC News
    Madeleine Thien is Canada's newest literary star — making a splash in Canada and abroad with her novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing — nabbing a high-profile trio of nominations for the Man Booker Prize, the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Awards. Source
  • Dead or Alive frontman Pete Burns dead at 57

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    British singer Pete Burns has died after suffering a heart attack. The former Dead or Alive frontman passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, according to a statement issued by his management team on Burns’ official Twitter page. Source
  • The Bard shares billing: Shakespeare had help with Henry VI plays and others, say scholars

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Bard was not a solo act. Oxford University Press' new edition of William Shakespeare's works will credit Christopher Marlowe as co-author of the three Henry VI plays, underscoring that the playwright collaborated with others on some of his most famous works. Source
  • Britney Spears suffers wardrobe malfunction during Las Vegas show

    Entertainment Toronto Sun happened again. Britney Spears has once again suffered a wardrobe malfunction during her Pieces of Me show in Las Vegas. During the performance of "I Love Rock and Roll ," the clasp on the back of her black halter top came undone, leaving the singer to hold up it up with one hand over her nearly-exposed breast. Source
  • Drake slams Kid Cudi on 'More Life' LP

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Drake is going after the Chosen One. The Toronto superstar teased his next LP – titled More Life – during his OVO Sound radio show Sunday and one of the tracks takes a swipe at fellow rapper Kid Cudi. Source
  • 1960s teen idol Bobby Vee dead at 73

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    MINNEAPOLIS — Pop idol Bobby Vee, the boyish, grinning 1960s singer whose career was born when he took a Midwestern stage as a teenager to fill in after the 1959 plane crash that killed rock ’n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Source