Judge says Bill Cosby's wife must testify in defamation lawsuit
A federal judge in Massachusetts has denied a motion brought by Camille Cosby to avoid giving testimony at a deposition in a lawsuit brought by seven women who allege her husband sexually assaulted them.
“I find no merit in Mrs. Cosby’s arguments, and accordingly deny her motion in its entirety,” U.S. Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy said in the Dec.31 ruling.
The judge’s ruling came a day after Bill Cosby was charged with felony aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, mansion in January 2004.
The 78-year-old comedian was arraigned Wednesday afternoon and released after posting $1 million bail.
Camille was subpoenaed in early December as part of a defamation lawsuit that was brought against her husband by Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie. The women, who have accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them between 1969 and 1992, said Cosby’s statements denying the accusations were false and defamatory.
“The Court’s ruling is a significant development. We will conduct a thorough examination in pursuit of the truth.,” Tamara Green’s attorney Joseph Cammarata tells PEOPLE.
Camille argued that by law she shouldn’t have to testify against her spouse and be subjected to questions regarding his “sexual proclivities.”
“She argues that her subpoena threatens ‘the strong public interest in encouraging the protection of marital communications’ and mentions in passing ‘the shame and embarrassment of responding to questions about defendant’s alleged infidelities and sexual misconduct,” Hennessy wrote. “While these are not unimportant considerations, they do not outweigh the potential significance of Mrs. Cosby’s testimony. Mrs. Cosby’s dual role as defendants’ wife and business manager, render it at least plausible that Mrs. Cosby is in possession of information that is ‘relevant to any party’s claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case.”
“The attorneys for Mrs. Cosby intend to appeal the decision,” Cosby’s attorney Monique Pressley wrote in a statement to PEOPLE.
In her motion, Camille also argued that her privacy rights would be violated if she testified.
“Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ communications with the press announcing the noticing of Mrs. Cosby’s deposition, even before the deposition notice was actually served, makes clear that they intend to publicize every lurid detail of every question they intend to ask Mrs. Cosby,” according to court papers
Camille is scheduled to testify Jan. 6.