Court grants motion to stay deposition in defamation case against scandal-plagued comedian
Bill Cosby‘s wife won’t have to testify against her husband in the defamation case brought against him, at least for the time being.
Camille Cosby caught a break in federal court in Massachusetts on Tuesday, when U.S. magistrate judge David H. Hennessy granted her emergency motion to stay her deposition, which was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, according to court papers obtained by TheWrap.
Cosby filed an emergency motion to stay the deposition on Monday, after she was ordered to testify in late December.
The plaintiffs in the case, seven women who claim that
Hennessy said he needed to weigh four factors in the case, the most important of which, according to the order, was that denying Camille Cosby’s motion would “amount to a denial of Mrs. Cosby’s right to appeal the December 31, 2015 order. It would not serve (and in fact would offend) the ‘interest of justice’ for this court to deny the motion for a stay, and thereby effectively deny Mrs. Cosby any right to appeal.”
Cosby’s initial, failed effort to block the deposition cited Massachusetts’ “marital disqualification law,” which decrees, “In any proceeding, civil or criminal, a witness shall not testify as to private conversations with a spouse occurring during their marriage.”
In the emergency motion filed Monday, Cosby contended that intimate details of her relationship with her husband could find their way into the media.
“In his Order, the Magistrate has suggested that the Plaintiffs may ask Mrs. Cosby about the most intimate details of her marital life, including her husband’s sexual ‘proclivities’… Plaintiffs had made clear that they will publicize all such testimony,” Monday’s court papers read.
In this case, Cosby is being sued by accusers including Tamara Green, Therese Serignese and others, who allege that the TV legend defamed them with statements denying their claims of sexual impropriety and assault. Cosby has filed his own cross-complaint for defamation against his accusers.
Cosby has been accused of rape or sexual assault by dozens of women. His former attorney, Martin Singer, has denied the allegations in the past.
The former “Cosby Show” star has been slapped with multiple lawsuits in the wake of the scandal. He has also been charged with felony sexual assault stemming from accusations made by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who alleges that Cosby assaulted her in 2004.
Constand had previously sued Cosby over the alleged attack, but later settled with him.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.