The wife of comedian Bill Cosby must give a deposition to lawyers representing seven of his alleged sexual assault victims, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
The Boston Globe reported that U.S. Magistrate Judge David Hennessy rejected Camille Cosby's motion to quash a subpoena, saying in part that "Mrs. Cosby’s dual role as [Cosby]’s wife and business manager, render it at least plausible that Mrs. Cosby is in possession of information" relevant to the lawsuit filed against Bill Cosby in federal court in Massachusetts.
Hennessy's ruling came one day after Cosby was charged in Pennsylvania with aggravated indecent assault over claims that he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman less than half his age at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. The charge was brought after a barrage of accusations from dozens of women, including the seven who filed the civil suit.
The women allege that Cosby sexually assaulted them years ago, then used his representatives to defame them in the press when they came forward.
Attorneys for the women had claimed in court papers that Camille Cosby "has more knowledge of Mr. Cosby’s sexual proclivities and encounters (consensual and nonconsensual), as well as his use of Quaaludes and other sedatives" than anyone apart from Cosby himself. Camille Cosby's attorneys claimed that the subpoena was a "thinly veiled attempt to pressure" the Emmy-winning entertainer.
Cosby has acknowledged a string of extramarital affairs and sexual encounters, but has insisted that all were consensual. Cosby, who makes his home mostly in Shelburne Falls, Mass., has also admitted that he obtained quaaludes in the 1970s to give to women "the same as a person would say, 'Have a drink.'" However, he denied giving women drugs without their knowledge.
In addition to the criminal case and the Massachusetts civil case, Cosby also faces defamation and sexual-abuse lawsuits filed in Los Angeles and Pennsylvania. But in nearly every case, it is too late to file criminal charges. One exception: a 2008 case involving a model at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. It is still under investigation by police.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.