On Thursday, a federal judge upheld a prior ruling made by a Massachusetts court to compel Camille Cosby to sit for a deposition in one of the civil cases filed against her husband, comedy icon Bill Cosby.
Camille Cosby had previously filed a “complete avoidance” appeal that allows her to steer clear of the depositions demanded by several of her husband’s accusers.
U.S. District Judge Mark Mastroianni rejected her bid, but gave her permission to decline answering certain questions that fall under the state’s marital disqualification rule. This means that she is not obligated to respond to inquiries that relate to private communications she had with Bill Cosby.
— People Magazine (@people) February 12, 2016
In a 13-page decision authored by Mastroianni, he ruled that Camille Cosby “may possess a good deal of relevant, non-protected information which can be uncovered in a deposition. This is not simply a ‘fishing expedition.’”
The 71-year-old wife and business manager of Bill Cosby is scheduled to be deposed on February 22 by counsels of seven women who charged the comedian for defamation in 2014. They are also alleging that the Cosby Show star sexually assaulted them with the aid of drugs, but the statute of limitations for sexual assault claims has long since passed.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 10, 2016
The Cosby camp filed another motion to delay Camille’s upcoming deposition until the federal judge decides on her prior appeal of a ruling ordering her to testify.
According to the 12-page document that her lawyers submitted to the court, “without a stay of her deposition, both Mrs. Cosby’s privacy and freedom will be put at issue in a case to which she is not a party, and for which she is not alleged to have any personal, first-hand knowledge.”
The ruling was delayed to give Camille Cosby's lawyers time to appeal an earlier ruling in the case. https://t.co/XjbJvPuLpZ
— John Pearce (@techpearce2) January 6, 2016
Meanwhile, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Joseph Cammarata, said that his clients remain hopeful that Camille Cosby – Bill’s wife of more than five decades – will still be ordered to appear at the deposition in the next couple of weeks.
"Despite the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Cosby to prevent us from asking her questions the court said that we are entitled to do so because she likely has important information to provide,” he said.