Attorneys for Bill Cosby will make their opening comments in a civil trial that is one of the final outstanding legal claims against the comedian on Wednesday.
Judy Huth’s lawyers will set out the evidence they expect to bring to prove that Cosby compelled her to do a sex act at the Playboy Mansion when she was 16 years old in 1975. Huth’s testimony will be key in the case, which will be strengthened by images and other historical evidence to help place the incident in context.
Cosby’s lawyers, who claim no sexual assault occurred, are likely to underline that the plaintiffs bear the whole burden of proof in the almost 50-year-old case. They accept that Cosby brought Huth to the Playboy Mansion, as evidenced by a photo from the visit, but claim she was not a child at the time.
The trial is one of the last for Cosby, 85, who was released from jail 11 months ago after a Pennsylvania appeals court overturned his criminal sexual assault conviction. His insurance forced him to settle many more sexual misconduct complaints against his will.
After a court concluded that Cosby may invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, he would not testify. He also had no intentions to travel from his home in Pennsylvania to attend the trial, which will be held in a small courthouse in Santa Monica. According to Cosby’s representatives, glaucoma has rendered him blind, making travel impossible.