Bill Cosby’s lawyers angry over assaulter’s story change: ‘It’s called an ambush’

With jury selection less than a week away, lawyers grappled with the shifting evidence on Tuesday Bill Cosby’s civil trial over allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl at the Playboy house nearly 50 years ago.

Plaintiff Judy Huth said in a recent court filing that she now believes the attack took place in 1975 when she was 16, not 1974 when she was 15, as she has long claimed. , who said the change has rocked their defense on the eve of the trial.

“It’s not fair,” Cosby’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean said out of court. “It’s called trial by ambush.”

Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Craig Karlan gave no indication that he intended to throw out the 8-year-old case just before a trial that he is determined to begin Monday as scheduled, and he continued preparations. .

Cosby, 85, won’t be there, his lawyers said. The case has taken on renewed significance as one of the few remaining legal actions against him after Pennsylvania’s highest court rejected his conviction for sexual abuse in June and released him from prison, and many other lawsuits were settled against his will by his insurer.

Huth’s lawyers said the change in her story came after an examination of archival footage led them to determine the dates when Cosby was shooting the movie “Let’s Do It Again” in a Los Angeles park, where Huth says the two before he took her to the mansion.

Evidence included a dated photo of Cosby with a beard and a tuxedo that looked exactly as Huth had remembered him.

The change was disclosed in a statement attached as evidence to a May 5 motion. But Bonjean said she should have been notified immediately, telling the judge the move was “subversive.”

One of Huth’s lawyers, Nathan Goldberg, took offense.

“We filed it with the court. That was subversive?” said Goldberg.

He suggested that the defense had long concealed the timing of the visit to the mansion.

“They knew all along it was 1975,” Goldberg said.

Cosby’s attorneys said they built much of their lawsuit defenses around the timing of the trip to the Playboy Mansion, including going to great lengths to establish Cosby’s whereabouts at the time, and basing their planned questions for Huth on the witness stand around her account of the chronology.

Huth’s lawsuit alleges that Cosby forced her to perform sexual acts with him in a bedroom of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s famous mansion in Los Angeles.

Bonjean acknowledges that Cosby met Huth and took her to the mansion – a photo shows the two there together – but that the visit took place later when Huth was not a minor, and that no sexual assault took place anyway.

Bonjean also said the changed story also means changes in the relevance of the judiciary, which treats 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds differently.

Without dismissing the case or delaying the trial, the judge agreed with Huth’s lawyers that they should have clearly notified the defense of the timing change, and ordered Huth and a friend who told her story. confirms this week to sit down for new statements.

“It’s extremely difficult to defend against an accusation from 50 years ago. No one could do it, innocent, guilty or anything in between,” Bonjean, who also represented Cosby in his criminal case and R. Kelly in his Chicago child pornography show. process, said out of court. “You work, you work, you work to create a defense, and then all of a sudden at the last minute it’s an ace-and-switch.”

Huth attorney Gloria Allred declined to comment out of court.

Cosby made a videotaped statement early in the case, but is not required to testify at the trial.

He will not make the trip to California from his Pennsylvania home because of glaucoma that has left him blind, his representatives said.

But his absence is no indication of how vigorously he intends to fight.

“Mr. Cosby is a man who has never settled for anything in life, and he will not settle for this matter,” Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said after the hearing.

The Associated Press does not normally name people who claim to have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Huth has repeatedly done.

Cosby, the trailblazing black actor and comedian, was the first celebrity to be convicted of sexual assault in the #MeToo era. The jury found him guilty of drugging and molesting a university sports director during his new trial in 2018. However, the conviction was later overturned.

A barrage of sexual assault allegations destroyed his image as “America’s Dad” and led to multimillion-dollar settlements with at least eight women.

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