10:08am PT by Eriq Gardner
Hugh Hefner Demands Dismissal of Lawsuit Claiming He Conspired With Bill Cosby
As Bill Cosby continues to fight claims of sexually assaulting women — and lying about it — the unfolding scandal has also hit those who have allegedly aided the embattled entertainer over the years.
Chloe Goins claims to have been a victim of Cosby's at an event at the Playboy Mansion in 2008, and she's now suing Hugh Hefner for conspiring with Cosby. According to her complaint, Hefner told her at the party she looked "woozy" and that Goins should go "lie down" in the bedroom. Goins claims that Cosby gave her a drug to knock her unconscious and that Hefner "knew or should have known" that Cosby "over the years had a propensity for intoxicating and or drugging young women and taking advantage of them sexually and against their will or while they were unconscious."
On Friday, Hefner reacted to the lawsuit by demanding dismissal, arguing in court papers that the allegation "smacks of a desperate ploy to garner publicity and wrangle an unwarranted settlement."
According to the 90-year-old Playboy founder's lawyers, the "vague and conclusory allegation" that Hefner should have known about Cosby or that the alleged assault was foreseeable must be rejected because Goins "fails to offer even the lightest dusting of operative facts" in support.
Separately, Hefner's attorneys point to statute of limitations. If Goins was a minor when the assault occurred, it's possible that the claim isn't time-barred, but Hefner points to what the plaintiff told authorities. A January 6, 2016 report states she was 18 years old at the Playboy Mansion event.
"The District Attorney's office was given no reason to believe she was a minor at the time of the incident and proceeded as if Goins was an adult victim, as demonstrated by the contemplated criminal charges against Cosby," states the memorandum from attorney Anthony Glassman. "The office declined to prosecute Cosby because it deemed the charges were barred by the statute of limitations. Not surprisingly, Hefner's name is not mentioned in the District Attorney's report, as investigating authorities never considered Hefner was responsible for, or participated in, Cosby's alleged criminal acts."
Cosby's own lawyers also point to this in arguing that the claims be dismissed. Besides statute of limitations, they also seize on a lack of corroborating evidence. "Significantly, police reviewed video footage of the Midsummer Night’s Dream party, and found no images of Plaintiff or Mr. Cosby in attendance," states Cosby's memorandum on Friday. "Similarly, police reviewed guests lists for all events at the Playboy mansion during the summer of 2008 and, once again, found no entries for Plaintiff or Mr. Cosby."