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Camille Cosby must give deposition in Springfield suit, judge rules

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Comedian Bill Cosby, left, and his wife, Camille, appeared together in 2009.
Comedian Bill Cosby, left, and his wife, Camille, appeared together in 2009.Jacquelyn Martin

Camille Cosby, the wife of comedian Bill Cosby, will have to give a deposition to lawyers representing seven of his alleged sexual assault victims who are suing him in federal court in Springfield, a judge ruled Thursday.

In a 12-page ruling, US Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy rejected Camille Cosby's motion to quash a subpoena for her deposition, writing that the combination of "(1) the allegations underlying this matter, which implicate ... [Bill Cosby's] sexual history and ... (2) Mrs. Cosby's dual role as defendant's wife and business manager, render it at least plausible that Mrs. Cosby is in possession of information" relevant to the lawsuit.

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Hennessy's ruling came one day after the comedian was charged criminally in Pennsylvania with sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. He has denied all allegations through his lawyers.

A lawyer for the Cosbys could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

The women in the Springfield lawsuit allege that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them decades ago and defamed them in the press through representatives when they went public with their claims.

In prior court filings, lawyers for the Cosbys had said the plaintiffs' bid to depose Camille Cosby was a "thinly veiled attempt to pressure [Bill Cosby] in the face of subjecting his wife to the shame and embarrassment of responding to questions about his alleged infidelities and sexual misconduct."

Attorneys for the seven women had fired back in court papers, writing that other than Bill Cosby himself, there is likely no one besides his wife who "has more knowledge of Mr. Cosby's sexual proclivities and encounters (consensual and nonconsensual), as well as his use of Quaaludes and other sedatives."


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.