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In video testimony played for jurors on Wednesday in a civil trial, Bill Cosby denies sexually abusing a teenage girl at the Playboy Mansion in the mid-1970s.
Asked by a lawyer for Judy Huth, who is suing Cosby, if he had tried to put his hand in Huth’s pants, Cosby quickly and clearly answers “no”. When asked if he exposed himself and forced her to touch him sexually, Cosby replies “no” in the same way.
When asked if it was possible that these things happened but Cosby could not remember, Cosby replied “no”.
“Why wouldn’t that be possible?” asks Huth’s attorney, Nathan Goldberg.
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“Because,” Cosby replies, “the fact that this young lady says she told me she was 15.”
In another clip, Goldberg asks Cosby if he would knowingly have relationships with girls under the age of 18 in the mid-1970s. Cosby replies “no”. But he also says “no” when asked if he would make sure those he seeks sex with are 18.
At the time the video deposition was taken on October 9, 2015, Huth claimed the assault took place in 1973 or 1974, when she was 15, but shortly before the trial, a review of the evidence showed that it was in 1975, when she was 16 years old.
The 12-minute clips, played for the jury at the end of the sixth day of the trial in Los Angeles County, represent the first time Cosby’s voice was heard during the proceedings. He is wearing a gray jacket with a dress shirt and tie and is seated at a table.
The 85-year-old actor and comedian is not attending the trial due to glaucoma which left him blind, his representatives said. A judge also ruled he could invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege and decline to testify or make a second deposition in the case the plaintiff had requested.
Cosby says in the video that he did not recall meeting Huth or his friend Donna Samuelson, who each testified earlier in the trial that they met him on a film set and then a few days later met him at a tennis club, briefly visited a house he was staying at, and then went with him to the mansion.
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When asked if seeing pictures of him with Huth at the mansion would change his answers about whether he knew them, Cosby replies that it wouldn’t mean much.
“What is the word ‘know’ that I ‘know’ someone?” Cosby says in one of his few long responses in the video. “Or that I met someone? Or that while I was at Disneyland I met a hundred people and took pictures with them? Or that while I was at the airport I am sitting waiting to catch a plane and people come and sit next to me sit on top of me put your arm around me say hello and take a picture that may later show up somewhere and that i know this person? No, sir.
Cosby adds, “That doesn’t mean they were with me, or even that I was with them.”
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Two photos Samuelson took of Cosby with Huth at the mansion were shown several times during the trial. Cosby’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, acknowledged he took the girls there, but Bonjean and Cosby’s spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, has repeatedly denied any sexual interaction.
Huth’s attorneys closed their case after viewing the video. Cosby’s attorneys will begin calling their own witnesses on Thursday.
Huth, now 64, took the stand earlier Wednesday after testifying for much of Tuesday.
While cross-examining her, Bonjean challenged Huth on the timing of his struggles with depression, suggesting they clearly weren’t spurred on by Cosby’s abuse.
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Huth sued in 2014 claiming her son, who was 15 the same year, recalled painful memories of his sexual assault and caused subsequent depression.
Bonjean showed Huth’s medical records from 2011, 2012 and 2013 in which her doctor assessed her with major depression and prescribed her antidepressants.
“We can agree that you suffered from major depression before your son was 15? Bonjean asked Huth, who was on the witness stand at a Los Angeles County courthouse for a second day of the civil trial.
“I don’t know if I did,” Huth said.
“So medical records showing this would be inaccurate?” Bonjean asked.
Huth repeatedly responded to this and similar questions by saying she did not recall dealing with depression or taking medication during those years, but acknowledged that the documents in front of her indicated that she had done so.
Bonjean also pointed out different potential causes of Huth’s depression.
“You had a long history of trauma in your life that had nothing to do with Mr. Cosby, did you?” Bonjean asked.
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“Nothing as bad as that, that’s for sure,” Huth replied.
Huth’s lawsuit says she suffered psychological damage from Cosby’s abuse from 2014, when she began having anxiety about it and flashbacks, until 2018, when he was sent to prison in the Pennsylvania criminal case.
Goldberg, his lawyer, asked him on Wednesday: “Did you know when you were 16 that what Mr. Cosby did caused you psychological injury?”
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“No,” Huth replied. “I was just a kid.”
The lawsuit represents one of the latest legal actions against Cosby, 85, after his criminal conviction was overturned by an appeals court and he was released from prison last year. His insurer settled numerous other lawsuits against his will.
The Associated Press does not normally name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly, as Huth did.