Jury selection begins Monday in a new trial against Bill Cosby—a trial that could be one of the last legal proceedings the once beloved comedian faces.
Judy Huth, the plaintiff in the case, alleges that Cosby groped her while at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, 50 years ago when she was a teenager. She’s now suing him for sexual battery in a civil case. He has denied all the allegations.
Huth initially filed her lawsuit in 2014, as dozens of accusations against Cosby began to surface. However, once he was arrested in 2015 for sex crimes, Huth’s and other civil cases were put on hold.
Last year, Cosby’s 2018 criminal conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Now Huth’s lawsuit is back in court, after Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan said that the case can move forward. Here’s what to know.
Who is Judy Huth?
Huth, 64, was a teenager when she met Cosby at a Los Angeles park in 1975, when he was filming a movie. Initial court filings said that Huth was 15 when she met Cosby and that the incident happened in 1974, but in a more recent court filing, Huth says she believes she was 16 at the time. Cosby allegedly invited her and a friend to his tennis club.
According to Huth’s claim, the three of them played billiards and Cosby also gave them alcohol, before later bringing them to the Playboy Mansion. It was there that Huth alleges Cosby had her sit next to him on a bed and molested her.
How is this suit different from the criminal case against Cosby?
Among the more than 60 accusations levied against Cosby, Huth’s is the only case that alleges child abuse. In addition, her case is one of the last civil suits that Cosby faces. The others were either settled out of court, dropped, or dismissed.
Another civil lawsuit is currently in federal court in New Jersey. Lili Bernard, who acted on The Cosby Show, filed the suit alleging that Cosby drugged and raped her in Atlantic City in 1990.
Read more: There’s So Much More to Say About Bill Cosby
Will Bill Cosby or Judy Huth testify?
Cosby is not required to testify in this trial and is not expected to attend any of it. Around the time the case was first filed, Cosby did give a videotaped deposition.
Cosby’s legal team tried to have the Huth case dismissed or delayed due to the change in her story but the judge denied that.
“It’s not fair,” Cosby’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean has said. “It’s called trial by ambush.”
Due to the issues that Cosby’s team raised about the change in the story, Judge Karlan also ordered Huth and another witness to be deposed.
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