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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bill Cosby lost his latest bid to fend off a lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1974, as the California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the comedian's petition to review the case.
The accuser's attorney, Gloria Allred, said the decision cleared the way for the litigation brought by Judy Huth, now in her 50s, to proceed, and that she intended to take Cosby's sworn deposition within the next 30 days.
"We are looking forward to Mr. Cosby answering questions under oath at his deposition," Allred said. "It's a very big victory."
There was no immediate response from Cosby or his lawyers, who have consistently denied allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against the 78-year-old performer.
Huth is one of more than 40 women who have come forward in the past year to say that they were raped or molested by Cosby after he plied them with drugs in incidents dating back decades.
The complaint filed by Huth against Cosby is one of at least four pending civil lawsuits stemming from such accusations, but Allred said Huth's is the only one seeking damages for the alleged sexual misconduct itself.
The others are defamation suits whose principal causes of action allege the entertainer falsely branded his accusers as liars by denying that he ever sexually assaulted them.
Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Eric Beech