Los Angeles judge orders deposition of Bill Cosby by former model

Mon Nov 2, 2015 7:09pm EST
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By Jonathan Tolliver

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bill Cosby and his former lawyer were ordered on Monday to give sworn depositions in the defamation lawsuit brought by an ex-supermodel who says they falsely called her a liar after she publicly accused the comedian of sexually assaulting her three decades ago.

The ruling by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Debra Weintraub marks the second time in two months that Cosby, 78, will be required to testify under oath in response to a complaint of sexual misconduct against him.

In this case, he and Martin Singer, a prominent Los Angeles attorney who had represented Cosby until he was replaced last month with a new legal team, must submit to questions from lawyers of onetime model and reality TV personality Janice Dickinson.

The judge ruled that both depositions are to be taken by Nov. 25, but stipulated nothing in her order would override attorney-client privilege. Cosby's lawyers said they would appeal her decision.

Dickinson, 60, is one of the best known of more than 50 women who have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexually assaulting them after plying them with drugs or alcohol, allegations that the comedian has denied.

Cosby has never been criminally charged. And many of the alleged incidents date back decades, putting them beyond the statute of limitations.

But Dickinson is seeking damages on grounds she was defamed by Cosby and Singer when they asserted in statements to the media that her account of being drugged and raped by Cosby in 1982 was a fabrication. She did not report the incident to police at the time for fear of retribution by Cosby, "who was and is a wealthy, powerful man," Dickinson said in court papers.

Her complaint mirrors defamation claims brought by at least two other accusers. A fourth woman suing on the basis of psychological injuries she claimed to have suffered from an alleged sexual assault in 1974 won a court order that forced Cosby to give a deposition last month.   Continued...

Actor Bill Cosby attends the American Comedy Awards in New York April 26, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Thayer