10:49am PT by Ashley Cullins
Bill Cosby Asks Court to Reject a Motion to Pause California Lawsuit
Bill Cosby wants third-party discovery in his legal battle with accuser Judy Huth to move forward, according to a Monday court filing.
This legal fight began in 2014 and is currently the only civil sex abuse lawsuit; the others all stem from defamation. In March, the court paused all discovery related to Cosby and Huth, pending the outcome of the comedian's criminal proceedings, but allowed other discovery to continue.
Now, it's Huth who is asking the court to put the whole case on hold and Cosby's legal team isn't having it.
"After having fought against any stay of discovery in this action, and after subpoenaing for deposition her own third-party witness Margie Shapiro (who happens to be another client of her counsel, Allred, Maroko & Goldberg ("Allred"), and a purported Cosby accuser), Plaintiff now seeks a broad stay of all third-party discovery because she worries that third-party discovery in her case might somehow negatively impact the prosecution of a pending criminal matter in which she has no involvement," writes Cosby attorney Angela Agrusa of Liner LLP.
Agrusa claims that Huth's attorney Gloria Allred has been secretly meeting with criminal investigators and urging them to use her clients as witnesses in their case against Cosby.
"[The Allred firm] has long sought to inject the accusers they represent into the criminal case against Mr. Cosby," Agrusa writes. "Now that the Pennsylvania prosecutor has named several of Allred's clients as potential witnesses in the criminal matter, Plaintiff suddenly argues that this civil case must be stayed to prevent Mr. Cosby from finally being able to examine his accusers."
Agrusa says the move to pause Huth's case "reveals a breathtaking level of hypocrisy and gamesmanship."
It's not just Allred's actions in this case and the criminal proceedings that Agrusa takes issue with, she also says the accusers' attorney is interfering in the Massachusetts defamation case. In that lawsuit, Tamara Green, and six other women, say their reputations were tarnished by Cosby's representatives after they came forward with allegations of sexual assault.
Agrusa says, despite the fact that Huth is not involved in the Green case, Allred intends to keep two third-party witnesses in that case from being deposed by filing a motion for a protective order.
"There is no legal basis for the Court to deprive Mr. Cosby of his right to depose witnesses identified (and even subpoenaed) by Plaintiff solely because Plaintiff and her counsel are afraid that it might, somehow, possibly help Mr. Cosby defend himself against the criminal charges in Pennsylvania," Agrusa writes. "Obviously the Commonwealth does not share that fear as the government has not objected to the civil discovery. Finally, the irony is not lost on Mr. Cosby that Plaintiff's counsel identifies herself as a civil rights defender, yet she is seeking an order-with no legitimate basis to do so-to prevent a man accused of a serious crime from questioning an accuser under oath when his own civil rights and liberty lie in the balance." (Read the full reply here.)
Allred has not yet commented in response to the filing.