In 1975, Bill Cosby sexually assaulted the then 16-year-old Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion — that was the determination of a Los Angeles jury on Tuesday in a civil case against Cosby. Huth, who is now 64, was awarded $500,000 in damages from Cosby. NBC News reports that as it stands now, Huth’s case is one of the “last remaining legal claims” against the disgraced former sitcom star.
In the trial that just concluded, Huth accused Bill Cosby of assaulting her in one of the Playboy Mansion’s “blue rooms.” She testified that once it was clear Cosby was interested in her sexually, she told him she was 16 and also lied about menstruating, but none of this succeeded in staving off the actor. She also said he forced his hand down her pants, exposed his penis to her, and forced her “to touch him sexually.” Huth said, “I was trying to deflect. But he didn’t stop. I just closed my eyes. … It was so fast. Maybe five minutes. Quick.”
According to NBC News, Bill Cosby’s defense team’s strategy was to focus on discrepancies in Judy Huth’s previous statements. Cosby’s victim initially claimed the assault took place in either 1973 or 1974, but her legal team later claimed to find evidence the correct year was 1975. Cosby’s lawyers attempted to use this as proof that Huth was dishonest, but apparently the jury wasn’t willing to accept that getting years mixed up decades after the fact was worth assuming someone was a liar.
After the verdict was read, Huth said she felt a long-deserved vindication. “I was elated,” she said. “Seriously, it’s been so many years, so many tears.” She also told reporters that the money didn’t matter as much as the verdict itself.
Bill Cosby, who is 20 years Huth’s senior, did not testify at the trial and did not even appear in the courtroom during the proceedings. That Cosby did not want to spend more time in a courtroom, at least, is understandable because he’s clocked in a lot of hours in such places in the past and there’s more to come. As reported by CNN, last October actress Lili Bernard filed her own lawsuit against Cosby. Bernard claims she met Cosby on the set of The Cosby Show, when the sitcom star offered to become her mentor. Her suit alleges Cosby lured her to the Trump Taj Mahal casino resort in Atlantic City by promising a meeting with an influential producer, and once there Cosby allegedly drugged and raped her. She also says that at one point while being mentored by Cosby he “violently, and without permission grabbed and squeezed” her breasts while she was performing vocal exercises.
Bill Cosby was previously convicted in 2018 of the 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand. He was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison, but that conviction was later overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, who agreed with Cosby’s lawyers that his rights to due process had been violated. The United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case in their venue.