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Bill Cosby Is Being Forced to Testify About an Alleged Sexual Encounter from 1974

On October 9, the once-beloved sweater-clad sitcom icon will speak about the time he allegedly took a 15-year-old girl to a Playboy Mansion party.
August 6, 2015, 7:16pm

A still of Bill Cosby performing decades ago. Photo via Flickr user Kate Haskell

On Wednesday, a California judge ruled that Bill Cosby must provide testimony about a sexual encounter that allegedly took place between himself and a 15-year-old girl in 1974. The Atlantic reports that the lawsuit, brought by Judy Huth, 56, is past the criminal statute of limitations, but in light of the recent onslaught of sexual assault charges raised against Cosby, the California Supreme Court ruled last month to let this civil suit—which claims psychological damage—proceed.

Huth is alleging that Cosby forced her to perform sexual acts when he took her to a party at the Playboy Mansion. Her deposition is set for October 15, while Cosby's testimony—his first since 2005—will come on October 9. The 2005 case, raised by a former basketball star and Temple University Athletics employee named Andrea Constand, was among the first of more than 40 public allegations of sexual assault against the once-beloved television star. After she detailed her alleged drugging and sexual assault, women of various ages, races, and backgrounds came forward with strikingly similar accounts.

Cosby has still never been formally charged for any crimes. But last month, a judge ordered the release of his deposition in that 2005 suit, wherein the comedian owned up to a habit of dishing Quaaludes to young female love interests. The allegations against him largely faded from the headlines after Constand's settlement, at least until Katie Baker's Newsweek interviews in February 2014 with victims Tamara Green and Barbara Bowman. And ever since comedian Hannibal Buress went off on Cosby in a stand-up bit that went viral last fall, the comedian has faced a seemingly constant deluge of allegations.

For their part, Cosby's lawyers are calling the Huth suit—which can proceed despite centering on events from decades ago because the alleged victim was a minor—an attempt at extorting their client. Of the 46 women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, Judy Huth may have the best shot at landing the next blow.