U.S. Magistrate Judge David Hennessy ruled today Tuesday April 12, 2016 that Bill Cosby’s wife Camille Cosby must sit through a second deposition. The deposition is for a defamation lawsuit filed by Tamara Green and six other women who claim Cosby defamed them by calling them liars after he denied their claims of sexual assault. The seven women are suing Cosby for a large undisclosed amount of money. Bill Cosby has always denied any wrongdoings and has countersued, accusing the women of defaming him.
In February, Camille Cosby, 71, was forced to testify against her husband in Massachusetts, even though her attorneys fought for months to prevent her from being deposed. Her attorneys argued spousal privileges, and that Mrs. Cosby “has had no involvement with the facts or allegations underlying this defamation case.”
The federal judge denied the request to end the deposition and ordered Camille Cosby to be deposed with limited questioning for a second time.
Daniel Small, one of Camille Cosby’s lawyers have accused plaintiffs’ counsel, Joseph Cammarata of acting improperly during the February 22 deposition even asking improper questions about her sex life and the death of her son.
Cosby’s attorneys believe these questions didn’t serve a purpose in this particular case and “were designed to annoy, embarrass and oppress the witness.”
“This is not a close call, your honor,” Small said. “The plaintiff cannot abuse or harass a witness with questions that are obviously embarrassing and of questionable relevance … We need some rules here.”
Judge David H. Hennessy told Joseph Cammarata, “We are not going to have a repeat of last time, I can assure you,” “You are not going to ask her if she was asleep while having sex … you crossed the line.”
Hennessy was referring to one of several questions about sex or drugs cited by Daniel Small, one of Camille Cosby’s lawyers, who claimed they were inappropriate and “not discovery, just harassment.”
Judge Hennessy agreed with Small, on the issue of not allowing Cosby’s wife to testify about her opinion of her husband’s character, however, sparring with Cammarata on the issue in open court.
Hennessy set the deposition for April 19th. Hennessy ruled that the new deposition will be limited to five hours and 45 minutes, with the two sides agreeing to move it to a Boston hotel.
Cosby’s attorney asked that the second part of the depositions be moved to Boston and offered their law offices, but Cammarata asked for the Copley Marriott instead.
According to Boston Herald Small shrugged and said Cammarata could use the Marriott if he wanted to pay for it. The judge seemed to find amusement in that request and stated “Maybe he needs the miles.”
For some reason the judge seems to be pushing for a settlement and asked again about whether any mediation for a settlement would be possible; but Cosby’s lawyer said “at this point, mediation would not be worthwhile.”
“I would encourage Mr. Cosby to revisit that decision,” Hennessy said.
After the ruling attorneys representing Camille O. Hanks-Cosby released a statement:
“We are very gratified by the court’s decision today. While not agreeing to terminate the deposition, the court granted Mrs. Cosby’s request to limit the types of questions she could be asked going forward, prohibiting plaintiffs from asking improper questions, questions seeking her opinion, and questions involving marital communications. We are also pleased the court rightly denied plaintiffs motion to compel as well as their motion to disqualify counsel on both procedural and substantive grounds.”