Camille Cosby, the wife of Bill Cosby, was deposed for the defamation case against her husband at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time this morning, despite an emergency motion filed by her attorneys in which they attempted to have the deposition significantly postponed it. In the motion, the defense stated that Bill Cosby’s wife “has had no involvement with the facts or allegations underlying this case,” according to CBS News. The motion further stated that her testimony would create “an unnecessary media circus and personal security threat that serves no purpose other than to harass and embarrass her.”
Bill Cosby’s wife, Camille, has been his business manager for many years. Deadline reports that her deposition took place in Springfield, Massachusetts, and was originally scheduled for 9 a.m. ET. The half-hour postponement was granted instead of the requested postponement, which was more substantial. The defamation case for which 71-year-old Camille was deposed was brought by seven women on December 10, 2014. Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis, and Angela Leslie have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. The seven women claim that 78-year-old Bill Cosby defamed them when his representatives branded them as liars after their charges of sexual assault against Cosby became public. His attorneys have filed a countersuit.
U.S. District Judge Mark Mastroianni made this statement about the court’s decision not to delay the deposition.
“This Court has reviewed all pleadings filed up until 5:00 p.m. today regarding this matter. The Court has also reviewed the entire audio recording from the hearing on this matter in front of Magistrate Judge Hennessy held on February 19, 2016. At that hearing, the Magistrate Judge considered all aspects of the relief being requested and allowed the opportunity for the parties to develop and articulate their respective positions. Judge Hennessy’s rulings and orders at the hearing are not clearly erroneous or contrary to law. This Court now finds, consistent with the findings and rulings of the Magistrate Judge, there is no meritorious basis for the relief being sought.”
As the wife of Bill Cosby, Camille has the right to refuse to answer certain questions asked during her deposition. This is based on Massachusetts’ marital disqualification rule, which states that a spouse cannot be forced to testify against their spouse on matters that were discussed in private. The prosecution, however, believes that Cosby’s wife may have knowledge based on conversations she and her husband Bill in her role as his business manager. NBC News reports that although the current case is a civil one, anything Bill’s wife says in her deposition could be used in a criminal case.
In December, Andrea Constand charged Bill Cosby with sexual assault, which she claims took place in his Philadelphia home in 2004 while she was an athletic department employee of Temple University. Cosby could face ten years in prison if he is found guilty.
Miss Green and other of Bill Cosby’s accusers had this to say about the attempted delay of Camille Cosby’s deposition.
“The Cosbys’ last-minute filing is the latest in a series of increasingly brazen attempts to interfere with the deposition of Mrs. Cosby. The Cosbys should not be allowed to indefinitely delay Mrs. Cosby’s deposition by repeatedly filing what is in substance the same motion, over and over again.”
Plaintiffs’ attorney Joseph Cammarata commented on their intent regarding the deposition of Bill Cosby’s wife.
“We’re hoping to learn about issues important to the case involving his relationship with her and his relationship with other women and his relationship with the business… She doesn’t want to be here. She doesn’t even want me to ask her her name… I intend to do what I need to do for my clients.”
[Photo by Evan Vucci/AP]