Actor and comedian Bill Cosby denied sexually abusing a teenage girl at the Playboy Mansion in the mid-1970s in a video testimony aired for jurors at a civil trial in Los Angeles County on Wednesday (June 8). Judy Huth filed the lawsuit against Cosby in 2014, claiming that her son's 15th birthday that year brought up terrible memories of her sexual assault at the same age, leading to depression.
According to Huth's lawsuit, she experienced psychological harm as a result of Cosby's abuse from 2014, when she began experiencing anxiety and having flashbacks, until 2018, when he was sentenced to prison in a Pennsylvania criminal case, reported Indian Express.
Huth said the molestation occurred in 1973 or 1974, when she was 15, during the video deposition on Oct. 9, 2015, but shortly before trial said a review of the facts revealed it occurred in 1975, when she was 16.
When asked by an attorney for Huth if he tried to put his hand down Huth's pants, Cosby swiftly says "no." Cosby also says "no" when asked if he exposed himself and compelled her to touch him sexually. When asked if it was possible that these events occurred but Cosby was unaware of them, Cosby said, "No."
"Why would that not be possible?" Nathan Goldberg, Huth's lawyer, inquires. “Because,” Cosby replies, “the fact that this young lady is saying that she told me she was 15.”
In another clip, Goldberg asks Cosby if, in the mid-1970s, he would intentionally have relationships with girls under the age of 18. "No," says Cosby. When asked if he would make sure anyone with whom he wanted sexual interactions were beyond the age of 18, he responds "no."
The jury was shown the 12-minute video at the end of the sixth day of the trial in Los Angeles County, and it was the first time Cosby's voice was heard during the proceedings. According to his lawyers, the 85-year-old actor and comedian is unable to attend the trial owing to glaucoma, which has rendered him blind. A judge also found that he might use his Fifth Amendment right to refuse to testify or give a second deposition in the case sought by the plaintiff.
In the testimony, Cosby claims he doesn't recall meeting Huth or her friend Donna Samuelson, who both testified earlier in the trial that they met him on a movie set, then met up with him at a tennis club, briefly visited a residence he was staying at, and then accompanied him to the mansion.
When asked if seeing images of himself with Huth at the mansion would change his mind about whether or not he knew them, Cosby says it wouldn't make a difference.
“What is the word ‘know,’ that I ‘know’ somebody?” In one of the few extensive responses in the video, Cosby adds. “Or that I met someone? Or that, while at Disneyland I met a hundred people and took pictures with them? Or that, while I’m at the airport I’m sitting, waiting to catch a plane and people come up and sit next to me, sit on me, put your arm around me, say hello and take a picture that later might show up somewhere somehow and that I know this person? No, sir.”
"It doesn't mean they were with me, or that I was even with them," Cosby continues.
During the trial, two photographs taken by Samuelson of Cosby and Huth in the mansion were exhibited multiple times. Cosby's lawyer, Gloria Bonjean, has admitted that he took the girls there, but both she and a Cosby spokeswoman have disputed that any sexual activity occurred.
After watching the footage, Huth's lawyers decided to rest their case. On Thursday, Cosby's lawyers will begin calling their own witnesses. Huth, now 64, testified for much of Tuesday and was back on the stand on Wednesday.
After his criminal conviction was overturned by an appeals court and he was released from prison last year, and his insurer resolved many other lawsuits against his will, this trial represents one of the last remaining legal claims against the 85-year-old Cosby.