Thursday’s Santa Monica jury started deliberating on whether Bill Cosby should be held responsible for damages to a 64-year-old Riverside County woman that she claims was sexually assaulted by the comedian during a 1970s visit to the Playboy Mansion. This happened when she was just a teenager.
The nearly two-week-long trial saw Judy Huth, an attorney for Canyon Lake, accuse Cosby, who is now 84 years old and legally blind, of assaulting her in the Canyon Lake mansion’s game room in 1975 when she was only 16. Cosby, according to lawyers, escorted Huth with Donna Samuelson, her 17-year-old friend, to the mansion in 1975, after they met while filming the movie “Let’s Do It Another” with Jimmie Walker & Sidney Poitier.
Cosby’s attorneys, however, have denied any wrongdoing and tried to find flaws in Huth’s story. They pointed out that Samuelson and Huth spent up to 12 hours at the Playboy Mansion following the alleged assault. They also claimed that Huth initially claimed the attack occurred in 1974, when she was 15 years old. She then changed her story to claim it happened a year later.
Huth reported her allegations against Cosby eventually to the Los Angeles Police Department. However, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined the request to file criminal charges due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.
Huth was able file the civil suit under a California statute that allowed adults who claimed they were victims of abuse as minors to pursue such cases.
Cosby was previously found guilty in a Pennsylvania retrial of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand. After finding that Cosby had a nonprosecution deal from a former prosecutor, he was sentenced to 10 year imprisonment in 2018.
In March, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request by Pennsylvania prosecutors to reconsider the decision of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. The criminal case had placed the Huth civil case in limbo.
Huth claims that Samuelson, Huth and Cosby visited a Playboy Mansion game room that was adjacent to their bedroom. Samuelson also took a photo of Huth, Samuelson and Cosby together in that room. This image was repeatedly shown to jurors during trial.
Huth claims that Cosby began to kiss her while she was alone and then tried to pull her pants down. The comedian then allegedly forced Huth to perform a sex act by lowering his pants.
Nathan Goldberg, Huth’s attorney, said that Huth kept the facts hidden for years. Then, other women began to speak out against Cosby and his actions in 2014. She filed her complaint against Cosby on December 2014.
Jennifer Bonjean, Cosby’s attorney, raised concerns about the allegations and suggested that Huth suffered emotional trauma from other events in her past. She also said that the sudden shift in the date of the alleged attack was evidence of fabrication.
A 2015 videotaped deposition by Cosby was shown to the jury during the trial. Cosby, who denied assaulting Huth, stated that he did not recall ever meeting her, and denied that he would ever have sex with an underage girl.
Goldberg countered the defence argument that Samuelson left the mansion after the attack. Goldberg claimed that Huth was in tears after the assault. Samuelson convinced Huth to stay because she said that she would feel better if she went for a swim. Samuelson said that Huth was upset and crying, but she didn’t want to call the police.
Huth seeks unspecified damages in this lawsuit.