Jury hears allegations of sexual abuse from American comedian Bill Cosby


Civil lawsuit against Bill Cosby: Judy Huth alleges that the actor harassed her at Playboy Mansion as a teenager.

Santa Monica, United States:

Bill Cosby faced sexual assault charges Wednesday in a new civil lawsuit in California, where the opening statements began with an alleged assault on a teenage girl at the Playboy Mansion nearly 50 years ago.

The case is one of the few remaining legal actions against Cosby, 84, who has been accused of assault by dozens of women. He was imprisoned in 2018 but was released last year when his conviction was quashed in a separate criminal case.

Judy Huth, plaintiff in the new California case, alleges that the veteran once known as “America’s Dad” met her in 1975 when she was 16, sprinkled her with alcohol, took her to the Los Angeles mansion owned by his boyfriend Hugh Hefner and sexually assaulted her in a bedroom.

“Immediately after she sat down (on the bed) he jumped… He started trying to put his hands in her pants,” attorney Nathan Goldberg told the jury.

When she told him she was on her period, Cosby revealed his penis and forced her to masturbate, Goldberg said in his opening statement.

Cosby’s lawyers deny that an attack took place.

Because Cosby has not been ordered to testify in person by the judge, he is not expected to attend the final proceedings in California, but will remain at home in New York. He gave a video deposition.

Huth first filed her lawsuit in 2014, alleging sexual battery and infliction of emotional distress, when allegations against Cosby by other women were just beginning to surface.

“It was like a cork coming out of a bottle,” Goldberg said. “Memories came flooding back quickly…she was overwhelmed with memories of Mr. Cosby and what he’d done.”

Huth’s case was put on hold for Cosby’s separate criminal trial, and when Cosby was found guilty in 2018, “it was like closing for her,” Goldberg said.

But that conviction — the first celebrity jailed for sexual assault during the #MeToo era — was overturned last June over a technicality, and a judge ruled that Huth’s civil case could go ahead.

Huth’s attorney Goldberg said two other women allegedly assaulted by Cosby in 1975 will testify at the trial, pointing to similarities in how Cosby had used his celebrity status to meet the then-teenagers.

“He meets them under circumstances that don’t seem threatening… He takes them to places where they don’t feel threatened,” Goldberg said.

“In any case, his intention is to have illicit sex.

“He’s a planner… Why is he hanging out with these kids?”

Once a towering figure in late 20th century American popular culture, Cosby made a big impression as affable obstetrician and father Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” which ran from 1984-92.

But about 60 women, many of them once aspiring actresses and models, have publicly labeled Cosby as a calculating, serial predator who drugged victims with sedatives and alcohol for four decades.

The process is expected to take approximately two weeks.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)

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