Cosby's Lawyers Angry as Accuser Tweaks Her Story

Civil sex assault trial is scheduled to begin Monday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 18, 2022 10:40 AM CDT
Cosby Lawyer on Accuser's Story Shift: 'It's Not Fair'
Bill Cosby arrives for a sentencing hearing following his sexual assault conviction at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., on Sept. 25, 2018.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

With jury selection less than a week away, attorneys scrambled to deal with shifting evidence Tuesday in Bill Cosby's civil trial over allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl at the Playboy mansion nearly 50 years ago. Plaintiff Judy Huth said in a recent court filing that she now believes the assault happened in 1975 when she was 16, not in 1974 when she was 15 as she'd long alleged, spurring cries of foul and a request to dismiss the case from Cosby's attorneys, who said the change has upended their defense on the eve of trial. "It's not fair," Cosby lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said outside court. "It's called trial by ambush."

The AP reports Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan gave no indication he planned to throw out the eight-year-old case just before a trial that he's determined to have start as scheduled on Monday, and forged ahead in preparations. Cosby, 84, won't attend any of it, his attorneys said. The case has taken on renewed significance as one of the few remaining legal actions against him after Pennsylvania's highest court threw out his criminal sexual assault conviction in June and released him from prison; many other lawsuits were settled against his will by his insurer.

Huth's attorneys said the change in her story came after research of archival evidence led them to determine the dates when Cosby was shooting the movie Let's Do It Again at a Los Angeles-area park, where Huth says the two met before he took her to the mansion. The evidence included a dated photo of Cosby with a beard and a tuxedo looking exactly as Huth had remembered him. Huth's lawsuit alleges Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him in a bedroom of Hugh Hefner's famed mansion. Bonjean acknowledges that Cosby met Huth and took her to the mansion—a photograph shows the two there together—but that the visit happened later when Huth wasn't a minor, and that no sexual assault took place regardless. (Read more on the upcoming case here.)

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