Gloria Allred shared her disapproval with Bill Cosby‘s defense team’s arguments on Friday after appearing in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of a woman who alleges to have been abused by the actor at the Playboy mansion during her youth.
Allred are representing alleged victim Judy Huth in the civil court matter filed back in 2014. Huth alleges that she was sexually abused by the former “Cosby Show” actor at the Playboy mansion in 1974. The case had been stayed for trial until the conclusion of Cosby’s criminal case.
At a press conference held by Allred after Friday’s court hearing, the famed attorney and her partners John West and Nathan Goldberg voiced their opposition to an argument raised by Cosby’s defense team in which they claim a new law in California known as the “lookback window” is unconstitutional. The law allows more time to victims of sexual assault to file civil lawsuits against their alleged perpetrators years later.
Allred ripped the defense team’s arguments and said the law is one she feels is “extremely important.”
Attorney Gloria Allred ripped Bill Cosby’s defense team on Friday after the parties appeared in court for a civil case against the disgraced actor. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
“In reference to the issue raised by the defense in their joint letter report to the court today of their plan to challenge the constitutionality of what we call the ‘lookback’ provision in California, that is a major issue,” Allred said.
“They say they plan to challenge the constitutionality of the new law. If the new law was decided by a court – and ultimately that will have to be a decision most likely all the way up to the Supreme Court of California – to be unconstitutional, that is going to inflict significant harm potentially on many victims of child sexual abuse in California.
“Because in plain English, what the new law does is it opens up access to the courts for many victims of child sexual abuse who may have been victimized in prior years but for many reasons never came forward, never exercised their option to file a lawsuit at that time but would still like to be able to file a lawsuit and have access to justice in a civil lawsuit in California. If Bill Cosby’s defense is successful in having that new law declared unconstitutional, it is going to be a significant barrier to those who allege they are victims to being able to have access to justice in the courts against those that they believe and assert are sexual predators and who have significantly harmed them. We will be addressing that issue later on in this case,” Allred said.
Goldberg agreed with Allred, calling a potential reversal of California’s lookback window a “major setback for victims of child sexual abuse.”
“It’s equitable, it’s fair, it’s in keeping with protecting victims, especially child victims, so we think it’s very important that the court rule that it is completely constitutional and applicable to Ms. Huth in this case,” Goldberg shared.
Cosby, 83, served more than two years of a three to 10-year sentence at a state prison near Philadelphia after being convicted of aggravated indecent assault. He was released on June 30 after his conviction was overturned on technical grounds. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Allred’s team also discussed their intent to have Cosby sit for a second deposition, something his team is aiming to avoid by invoking the fifth amendment.
“From our perspective, the court had already ruled that Mr. Cosby has to sit for another deposition. We regard any fifth amendment privilege argument as frivolous. We don’t think it makes any sense in light of the fact that nobody’s prosecuting him at the moment. We just don’t see that as a viable argument,” Goldberg added.
West confirmed on Friday that a judge set a trial date in the case for April 18, 2022. But he stressed the parties in the case have to sort our “a number of issues” before the case can proceed to trial.
Huth’s and Cosby’s attorneys are set to appear in court again on Sept. 30 in which they will discuss a timeline.
Allred concluded that she’s looking forward to seeking justice for Huth.
“We’re looking forward to fighting the good fight against [Cosby] and what appears to us be Mr. Cosby’s efforts to delay justice for our client. We’re going to push forward and push hard because we want to get this case tried and we want to fight for justice for our client.”
Comedian Bill Cosby, center, and spokesperson Andrew Wyatt, right, approach members of the media gathered outside Cosby’s home in Elkins Park, Pa., Wednesday, June 30, 2021, after Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned his sex assault conviction. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Meanwhile, Cosby’s spokesperson confirmed on Friday that his attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, has been added to the civil case.
“This morning, Bill Cosby’s New York-based attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, was granted leave to appear pro hac vice in the civil litigation Huth v. Cosby, pending in Los Angeles County. Ms. Bonjean will serve as lead counsel on the case, working with local counsel, Michael Freedman of The Freedman Firm to fully vindicate Mr. Cosby of Ms. Huth’s 1974 accusation,” a press release obtained by Fox News states.
Cosby’s team slammed Allred and her firm on Friday, noting that Allred’s team is “determined to try this case in the court of public opinion where the rules don’t apply and where their client’s ancient accusation is not subject to any meaningful vetting.”
“But cases are not won at press conferences; they are won in courtrooms through the adversarial process. And that is precisely where Mr. Cosby’s team intends to defeat this case,” the statement continues.
“In the words of Chief Justice Max Baer of the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court, ‘Mr. Cosby was the victim of a reprehensible bait and switch.’ Those actions of an over-zealous judge and prosecutor caused Mr. Cosby great suffering with a two-year-and-ten-month unjust conviction and incarceration. He legitimately fears that he could be the target of any number of other malicious prosecutions in this climate where mob-justice trumps the rule of law and bald accusations, no matter how old or how implausible, are automatically viewed as truth.”
Cosby, 83, served more than two years of a three to 10-year sentence at a state prison near Philadelphia after being convicted of aggravated indecent assault. He was released on June 30 after his conviction was overturned on technical grounds.