A judge on Tuesday stayed the deposition of Bill Cosby's wife in a defamation lawsuit against her celebrity husband, in order to give her lawyers time to appeal an earlier ruling in the case.
A federal magistrate judge in Massachusetts on Dec. 31 denied a motion seeking to avoid Camille Cosby giving a deposition in the defamation suit, or at least seeking to protective order to limit the scope of the subpoena. The deposition had been scheduled for Wednesday.
"It would not serve (and in fact would offend) the "interest of justice" for this court to deny the motion for a stay, and thereby effectively deny Mrs. Cosby any right to appeal," Magistrate Judge David Hennessy wrote in his ruling delaying the deposition.
"The attorneys for Mrs. Cosby agree with the court's decision and look forward to the opportunity to have this matter heard on appeal," Camille Cosby's attorneys said in a statement Tuesday.
The deposition is part of a defamation suit brought by seven women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual misconduct. An attorney representing those women, Joseph Cammarata has said Camille Cosby has information about her husband's "sexual proclivities" and use of Quaaludes, a powerful sedative.
Bill Cosby, 78, has countersued the seven women for defamation, alleging they purposefully derailed a planned television opportunity and defamed his character.
The defamation suit was initially brought by Tamara Green in December 2014, and six other women later joined. The suit alleges the comedian defamed the women by publicly denying their accusations.
The women are among more than 50 women who have accused Bill Cosby of misconduct going back to the 1960s. Bill Cosby and his attorneys have repeatedly denied the allegations.
On Dec. 30, Bill Cosby was criminally charged for the first time in connection with the allegations. He was charged in Pennsylvania with three counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from an alleged 2004 incident involving an ex-Temple University employee.
The woman in the criminal case, Andrea Constand, is not part of the defamation suit. Constand settled a civil lawsuit against Cosby on confidential terms in 2006, a year after a former district attorney declined to charge Cosby criminally.
Cosby is free on $1 million bail. He has not yet entered a plea. Cosby's attorneys have said they will fight the "unjustified charge" and that their client is not guilty.