SANTA MONICA— Nearly a year after Bill Cosby was released from prison as a result of an overturned sexual assault conviction, Cosby, 84, is being sued by Judy Huth in civil court for alleged sexual assault and is facing another trial. Opening arguments for the trial began on Wednesday, June 1 at a Santa Monica court.
The plaintiff, Riverside county resident, Judy Huth, 64, claims that Cosby sexually assaulted her at the Playboy mansion when she was 16-years-old back in 1975. According to court documents, Huth says that she and a friend, Donna Samuelson, both 16 and 17 at the time, met Cosby in 1975 while on-set of a movie he was filming in San Marino. Days later, Cosby reportedly invited Huth and Samuelson to a tennis club for drinks, then surprised them with a trip to the Playboy Mansion where he instructed them both to tell attendees that they were 18-years-old, if asked.
What proceeded to happen after, according to Huth’s legal team, was this: Cosby allegedly took Huth and Samuelson to a game room in the Playboy Mansion. Huth asked to use the bathroom in an adjoining bedroom – when she came out of the bathroom, Cosby was apparently sitting on the bed, “tapping the bed” as if to say “come here,” one of Huth’s lawyers, Nathan Goldberg said. She “timidly” agreed and that’s “when he pounced,” allegedly putting his hands down her pants, exposing himself, then grabbing her hand to force her to perform a sex act.
Donna Samuelson, now 64, testified on Wednesday that Mr. Cosby had Ms. Huth “locked in the room” and when Ms. Huth exited, she was crying.
“She grabbed her purse and said we are getting out of here,” Ms. Samuelson told the court. “She told me Bill Cosby tried to have sex with her.”
In their filings, Mr. Cosby’s lawyers deny the allegations, describing them as a fabrication. “We believe that Mr. Cosby will fully be exonerated once the jurors hear the evidence as well as examine the many inconsistent accounts given by Ms. Huth,” Mr. Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, said in a statement.
Huth reportedly initially recalled that the incident occurred in 1974 when she was 15-years-old. However, it was brought to her attention later on that the movie Cosby was filming at the time they met was in 1975. This prompted Huth to amend her story and for Cosby’s legal team to ask for the case to be dismissed in May 2022.
Huth first filed suit in 2014, however the statute of limitations to file about this incident had passed, so the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office declined to charge Cosby.
By 2015, Cosby was arrested following sexual assault allegations by Andrea Constand – all other sexual assault allegations and filings, including Huth’s, were put on hold.
In 2018, Cosby was convicted of sexual assault in the Andrea Constand trial and was sentenced to three to ten years in prison.
Then in 2019, a new California law extended the amount of time a victim of sexual abuse can file a lawsuit.
Due to statute of limitation changes, Cosby being imprisoned in 2018 and Huth changing her recollection of the time of the incident, Huth is now seeing her trial in court.
Cosby has invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and will not be testifying or attending trial. Huth attended court on Wednesday and is expected to testify later on in the trial.
Cosby is being represented by attorney Jennifer Bonjean, who represented him during his 2017-2018 criminal case. Huth is being represented by esteemed attorney Gloria Allred.