Santa Monica, USA:
Bill Cosby faced sexual harassment charges in a new civil trial in California on Wednesday, where he began preliminary remarks about an alleged assault on a teenage girl at a Playboy mansion nearly 50 years ago.
The case is one of the few remaining legal proceedings against Kasbi, 84, who has been charged with assault by dozens of women. He was sent to prison in 2018, but was released last year after being convicted in a separate criminal case.
New California plaintiff Judy Hooth alleges that the veteran comic, once known as “America’s Dad”, met her in 1975 when she met him at the age of 16, drank alcohol, and drove him to Los Angeles, owned by his friend Hugh Hefner. Taken to mansion and sexually harassed. Insults him in the bedroom.
Attorney Nathan Goldberg told the jury, “As soon as he got in (the bed) he shook … he started trying to get his hands under his pants.”
Goldberg said in her introductory statement that when she told him she was going through her period, Kasby exposed her penis and forced her to masturbate.
Kasbir’s lawyers have denied any involvement in the attack.
Cosby is not expected to attend the latest proceedings in California, but will remain at home in New York, as there is no personal testimony from the judge. He made a video statement.
Hooth filed her lawsuit in 2014, alleging sexual battery and mental anguish, when allegations against Kasbi began to surface from other women.
“It was like a cork popping out of a bottle,” Goldberg said. “Memories rushed to the surface … he was overwhelmed by the memory of Mr. Cosby and what he did.”
Hooth’s case was adjourned for a separate criminal trial, and when Cosby was convicted in 2018, “it was like closing in on him,” Goldberg said.
But that suffix – the first celebrity to be jailed for sexual harassment in the #MeToo era – was overturned last June for technical reasons, and a judge ruled that Hooth’s civil case could go ahead.
Hooth’s lawyer Goldberg said two more women would testify at the trial in 1975 for allegedly abusing Kasby, and noted similarities between how Kasby used his celebrity status to meet teenagers at the time.
Goldberg said, “He meets them in situations that do not feel threatened … He takes them to places where they do not feel threatened,” Goldberg said.
“In each case, they have seized it, despite obstacles we can scarcely imagine.”
“She’s a planner … why is she hanging out with these kids?”
Cosby was once a huge figure in American popular culture in the late 20th century, and hit the big time as the affectionate obstetrician and father Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” running from 1984-92.
But about 60 women, many of them once ambitious actresses and models, have publicly identified Cosby as a serial hunter who mourned the victims and left them in bed for four decades with alcohol.
The trial is expected to last about two weeks.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)