A lawyer for Bill Cosby reportedly told jurors they need to ignore years of public accusations against the actor and comedian and only consider evidence presented by a woman who says she sexually abused her at the Playboy Mansion in 1975 when she was 16 years old.
According to the Associated Press, during closing arguments on Tuesday (June 14) at a California civil trial, Cosby attorney Jennifer Bonjean said plaintiff Judy Huth and her lawyers didn’t come close to proving “her 50-year-old, he-said-she-said case.”
“Can you imagine how hard it is to defend a case when you start with the label of sexual predator?” Bonjean told the jurors, reminding them they were chosen because they promised they would be able to consider only the facts presented in court. “If we were just going to try people based on labels, then why have trials at all?”
Nathan Goldberg, Huth’s attorney, Told the jury that “my client deserves to have Mr. Cosby held accountable for what he did.”
“Each of you knows in your heart that Mr. Cosby sexually assaulted Miss Huff,” he added.
Cosby was freed from prison when his Pennsylvania criminal conviction was thrown out almost a year ago. He is not attending the trial and denied that any sexual activity took place between himself and Huth in a 2015 video deposition shown to jurors.
Huth testified that Cosby exposed himself and forced her to perform a sex act in a bedroom adjacent to a game room at the mansion, where the actor had brought Huth and her then-17-year-old friend Donna Samuelson, a key witness at trial.
Jurors will have to decide on the truth of Huth’s allegations and whether Cosby’s actions caused her emotional distress that reemerged in 2014 and lasted until 2018 when he went to prison, as Huth’s lawsuit says he did.
Huth’s case is one of the last remaining legal claims against Bill Cosby after the overturning of his Pennsylvania conviction and settlement of many other lawsuits negotiated by his insurer against his will.