Cosby, 78, whose career and public image as the model
American family man have been shattered by mounting allegations
of sexual misconduct, lost a previous bid to fend off the same
lawsuit on similar grounds last year.
His accuser in that case, Judy Huth, now in her 50s, sued Cosby
in December 2014, alleging that he plied her with alcohol and
molested her during an encounter at the Playboy Mansion in Los
Angeles in 1974, when she was 15.
Cosby has called Huth's account a fabrication and asserted that
her case against him grew out of a failed extortion attempt.
Huth is one more than 50 women who have come forward over the
past two years to publicly accuse Cosby of rape and other forms
of sexual abuse. Most involve incidents said to have occurred a
decade ago or more, too long to be criminally prosecuted, or
even litigated in civil court.
But authorities in Pennsylvania charged the entertainer in
December with sexually assaulting a woman in 2005. And at least
nine other women - eight of them in Massachusetts - are
currently suing Cosby for defamation, claiming they were smeared
by his public assertions that their allegations of sexual
wrongdoing were false.
Huth, however, filed her suit under a California law allowing
victims of childhood abuse to sue beyond the statute of
limitations if, within the last three years, they have realized
they suffered from psychological damage that previously was
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Cosby's lawyers have countered that Huth's claim fails to meet that
test, saying she "unsuccessfully tried to sell her story to the
tabloids nearly a decade ago."
"This fact belies the allegations in the lawsuit that (Huth) only
just discovered the basis for her claims within the past three
years," defense lawyers argued in their court filing. According to
Cosby's lawyers, Huth sued the comedian only after unsuccessfully
trying to extort him for hush money.
Cosby's lawyers also have sought dismissal of Huth's complaint on
grounds that she lacked the required certification from mental
health professionals to support her claims.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Craig Kaplan was expected to
hear arguments from both sides and possibly render a ruling on
(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles)
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