Thu, Dec 04, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Woman sues Bill Cosby, claiming underage abuse

AP, LOS ANGELES

Bill Cosby was sued on Tuesday by a southern California woman who claims the comedian molested her in a bedroom of the Playboy Mansion in about 1974, when she was 15 years old.

Judy Huth’s sexual battery lawsuit does not specify how much she is seeking from Cosby, who has in recent weeks faced renewed accusations that he drugged and sexually assaulted more than a dozen women over many years. It is the first lawsuit Cosby has faced claiming sexual abuse since 2005.

However, Huth’s lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, is the first time a woman has gone public claiming Cosby abused her when she was underage. A second woman told Pittsburgh television station KDKA last month that Cosby drugged her to the point of unconsciousness in the 1980s when she was 15.

Huth’s lawsuit states that she and a 16-year-old friend first met Cosby at a Los Angeles-area film shoot and the comedian gave the girls drinks a week later at a tennis club.

The lawsuit states that Cosby took them to the Playboy Mansion after several drinks and told the teenagers to lie and say they were 19 years old if asked. It says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him with his hand.

An e-mail message sent to Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, was not immediately returned. Singer has denied previous accusations or said the women raising the claims in interviews had been discredited.

Singer’s statement does not apply to a lawsuit brought in 2005 by Andrea Constand, who claimed Cosby drugged and molested her at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004. Constand, who worked for the women’s basketball team at Temple University, and Cosby settled the case before trial.

Cosby, a Temple alumni, resigned from the university’s board of trustees on Monday. He had been the school’s public face, appearing in advertisements, fundraising campaigns and delivering commencement speeches.

The accusations have put a significant dent in Cosby’s recent comeback efforts, forcing the cancelation of shows on his comedy tour and prompting Netflix and NBC to shelve projects featuring the comedian.

Cosby, 77, has never been criminally charged following any of the sex-abuse allegations, many of which date back to the 1970s and 1980s.

Huth claims she suffered severe emotional distress and that she discovered its impact on her within the past three years, which allows her to file the lawsuit under California law.

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