With his recently overturned conviction behind him, Bill Cosby‘s next legal battle is just weeks away.
Using Cosby’s lawyer released a statement Tuesday sounding very confident in advance of a status hearing in a civil lawsuit that was brought by renowned attorney Gloria Allred on behalf of her client who claims the comedian sexually abused her when she was a teenager nearly a half-century ago.
Judy Huth’s allegations
Judy Huth has alleged that she was a victim of child sexual abuse when Bill Cosby molested her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was 15. The lawsuit claims that one week after meeting Cosby, he gave Huth and her teenage friend pills and alcohol while they played pool before taking them to the Playboy Mansion, telling them to lie about their ages and sexually assaulting them.
The lawsuit had been paused while Cosby served more than two years in prison after being found guilty of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee who made claims similar to Huth’s and the dozens of other women who have come forward with their own allegations of being drugged and groped.
However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s overturning of Cosby’s conviction late last month not only freed him, but it also cleared the way for Huth’s civil lawsuit, which was filed in 2017, to move forward.
Cosby’s lawyer responds
A statement posted to Cosby’s social media channels and attributed to his lead lawyer Jennifer Bonjean was very optimistic and criticized Allred’s penchant for seeking publicity about the cases in which she’s involved.
“With the reversal of Mr. Cosby’s conviction, his legal team, led by Jennifer Bonjean of the Bonjean Law Group, now turns its attention to the civil lawsuit brought by Gloria Allred on behalf of her client Judy Huth,” the statement began. “Since Mr. Cosby’s release from prison and the dismissal of all charges against him, Ms. Allred has been hard at work giving press statements about the alleged merits of her client’s 45-year-old allegations. Ms. Bonjean looks forward to fighting the case in the courthouse where it matters – rather than at press conferences on the courthouse stairs where it doesn’t.”
The statement said the parties are due in court on Aug. 13 for a status hearing, during which a judge will determine if the case can move forward after it was stayed — or paused — more than two years ago.
“We anticipate that the court will lift the stay that was entered in 2018 and we can get to the business of vindicating Mr. Cosby once and for all,” Bonjean’s statement added.
Cosby’s accusers’ renewed motivation
It’s been an eventful past two weeks for Cosby since his surprise release from prison.
Bonjean’s statement came on the same day that NBC News aired an interview with eight of Cosby’s accusers reacting to his overturned conviction.
The consensus among them was that the ruling only reinvigorated and “really lit this fire under us,” accuser Janice Baker-Kinney said.
Other accusers reacted immediately to Cosby’s overturned conviction with shock and anger.
The Phylicia Rashad Controversy
Cosby has also lashed out at critics of Phylicia Rashad, who expressed joy and relief at the court’s ruling in favor of her former co-star on “The Cosby Show.” He accused Howard University — which had recently appointed Rashad as the dean of its College of Fine Arts — of censoring “freedom of speech.”
Rashad issued two apologies to survivors and Howard University community members.
“I vehemently oppose sexual violence, find no excuse for such behavior, and I know that Howard University has a zero-tolerance policy toward interpersonal violence,” Rashad wrote in one of the apologies.
But Cosby decided to jump into the fray to condemn the media over the usage of free speech as well as placing blame on the media for the insurrectionists who illegally stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“Howard University you must support ones Freedom of Speech (Ms. Rashad), which is taught or suppose to be taught everyday at that renowned law school, which resides on your campus,” he said in a statement sent by his spokesperson Andrew Wyatt, obtained by Deadline.
“This (sic) mainstream media are the Insurrectionists, who stormed the Capitol. Those same Media Insurrectionists are trying to demolish the Constitution of these United State of America on this Independence Day.”
“No technicality — it’s a violation of ones rights & we the people stand in support of Ms. Phylicia Rashad.”
Cosby might sue
Aside from defending Rashad, Cosby has been reportedly considering filing a lawsuit of his own. Cosby and his wife Camille have met with their lawyers and are possibly weighing the option to file a lawsuit against Montgomery County, which is where he stood trial twice in Pennsylvania.
Cosby also exclusively told Black Press USA that Black media outlets have a duty to report the facts.
“This is an opportunity that the Black Press, the writers, the men, and the women have now an opportunity with great intelligence, with great foresight, with great after sight, not just about Mr. Cosby, it is about what you saw, it is about what you know, and you must tell it, and you must be believed, and you have to put it in a way a level of intelligence,” Cosby insisted.
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