Bill Cosby's wife, Camille, must give a deposition in a civil lawsuit that alleges the comedian defamed women who have accused him of sexual assault, a judge ruled less than a week after Cosby was arrested on criminal charges related to a 2004 incident. Camille Cosby, who has acted as her husband's business manager, could give the deposition as soon as Wednesday in the suit, which was filed by seven of Bill Cosby's many accusers. From USA Today:
U.S. Judge Magistrate David Hennessey in Springfield, Massachusetts, said Camille Cosby failed to prove that she and her husband were protected by the state's marital disqualification law. He also rejected claims that the value of the testimony would be outweighed by the "undue burden" the deposition would cause. ... Camille Cosby had also sought a protective order to limit the scope of the subpoena as an alternative to quashing it altogether, but the judge also rejected that approach.
As the New York Times explains, the women suing Cosby say that he sexually assaulted and/or drugged them but "could not file civil suits directly related to those assertions because of the statute of limitations." (The accusations cover incidents ranging from the 1960s through the '90s.) They have instead sued Cosby for asserting that they are lying about his alleged assaults; he has countersued them in response.
Camille and Bill Cosby have been married since 1964, when she was 19.