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By Phil Helsel

The wife of Bill Cosby will have to appear for a deposition in a civil suit involving her husband in Massachusetts, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy denied a motion by Camille Cosby's attorneys opposing a deposition subpoena, which was issued in a defamation case brought by seven women who accuse the comedian of sexual misconduct.

Her attorneys argued that any information she had about her husband's "proclivities" would be irrelevant and that she was protected under state and federal law. It sought to avoid the deposition or at least to limit the scope of the subpoena.

"I find no merit in Mrs. Cosby's arguments, and accordingly deny her motion in its entirety," Hennessy wrote.

"Mrs. Cosby's dual role as defendant's wife and business manager render it at least plausible that Mrs. Cosby is in possession of information that 'is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case,'" Hennessy wrote.

Cosby has repeatedly denied allegations made by dozens of women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct or assault dating back to the 1960s.

The seven women in the Massachusetts case are suing Cosby for defamation, and Cosby in December countersued them, also alleging defamation. The defamation suit was initially brought by Tamara Green in December 2014, and six other women later joined.

Attorney Joseph Cammarata, representing the women suing Cosby, said Thursday that the deposition would go forward on Jan. 6.

"It will be a thorough pursuit of the truth and it will be a welcome opportunity to assist in obtaining justice for my clients," Cammarata said in an email.

Cosby's attorneys said they would appeal the decision.

Related: Bill Cosby Criminally Charged in 2004 Sex Assault Case, Freed on $1M Bail

Cosby was criminally charged for the first time in connection with the allegations Wednesday. He was charged in Pennsylvania with one count of aggravated indecent assault charge stemming from an alleged 2004 incident involving an ex-Temple University employee.

The woman in that case is not part of the Massachusetts defamation suit.

Cosby's attorneys have said they will vigorously defend the comedian against the "unjustified charge" and are confident he will be exonerated.