SAN FRANCISCO, June 8 — A woman who has filed a civil lawsuit against Bill Cosby took the witness stand in California on Tuesday, telling jurors the comedian forced her to perform a sex act at the Playboy Mansion when she was a teenager in the 1970s.
Judy Huth, who is seeking unspecified damages, said she had gone to the famous mansion in Los Angeles at Cosby’s invitation after she and a friend met him days earlier at a public park where he was filming a movie.
After spending time with Cosby and the friend in a game room, Huth said she emerged from a bathroom and saw the comedian sitting on a bed. He patted the bed next to him and she took a seat by his side, she said under questioning by her attorney.
Breaking into tears, Huth said Cosby tried to put his hands down her pants. When she told the actor she was menstruating, he stood up and pulled down his pants, she said.
Huth said he then placed her hand on his penis and masturbated “with my hand.” She said Cosby acted “forcefully.” “It was not what I wanted at all,” she said, adding “I was freaking out.” In her lawsuit, Huth, now 64, previously said the incident occurred in 1974, when she was 15, but recently said she now believes it was 1975.
The civil trial in California, one of the last legal cases against Cosby, is taking place 11 months after Cosby was freed from prison when Pennsylvania’s highest court threw out his sexual assault conviction in a different case.
Cosby’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean, who has not yet cross-examined Huth, said during opening statements that the alleged assault was a “fabrication,” though Cosby did not dispute that he invited Huth and her friend to the mansion.
“The evidence is going to show that Ms. Huth is not telling the truth,” Bonjean said.
Cosby, 84, is not expected to attend the trial.
Huth said the encounter with Cosby left her “depressed” and she started using marijuana. She said she partly blamed herself “for being there.” “I isolated myself, started getting high,” she said. “I just wasn’t the same person.” Huth said she “buried” the episode in her mind, though she never forgot it. She became anxious and depressed again, she said, around 2014 when women began publicly accusing Cosby of abuse.
“I was irritable, back to blaming myself,” Huth said. She said her time with Cosby “just kept repeating in my head. I couldn’t change the channel.” Cosby is best known for his role as the lovable husband and father in the 1980s television comedy series The Cosby Show, earning him the nickname “America’s Dad.” But his family-friendly reputation was shattered after more than 50 women accused him of sexual assaults over nearly five decades.
In 2018, Cosby was found guilty of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, in his home in 2004.She was an employee at Temple University, his alma mater, in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court overturned Cosby’s conviction in June 2021, after he had served more than two years of a three- to 10-year sentence.
The court said Cosby should not have faced the charges because a previous district attorney had publicly promised in 2005 not to prosecute him. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review that decision. — Reuters