Illustration for article titled Judge Partially Stays Bill Cosbys Defamation Case to Avoid Fifth Amendment Predicament

On Monday, in Massachusetts, a judge partially stayed a defamation case against Bill Cosby brought by seven women and led by Tamara Green. The ruling will exempt him from “providing discovery while his criminal case is pending”—the criminal case in question being the one lodged in Pennsylvania by Andrea Constand.


The comedian’s lawyers have said that to “preserve Cosby’s rights against self-incrimination, all civil lawsuits should be paused,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. This is essentially the same tactic Cosby and his former lawyers used in 2004, when Andrea Constand initially told police about her alleged sexual assault by Cosby in his home.

(That case itself has been exceedingly complicated: Cosby’s current lawyers argued recently that the Pennsylvania district attorney had made a deal with Cosby’s former, now-deceased lawyers—that if he testified in Constand’s civil case against him, he’d never be hit with criminal charges for the same alleged assault. He complied, and that deposition is where we learned about his practice of securing quaaludes to pressure women into sex.)


Now, U.S. District Judge Mark Mastroianni has ruled that Cosby himself won’t be deposed in the defamation case, “nor will he have to submit a signed declaration of his intention to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights,” according to THR. But Joseph Cammarata, lawyer for the seven women, is still aiming to depose Quincy Jones, William Morris Endeavor, Cosby’s former attorney Marty Singer and possibly Camille Cosby, again.

Image via AP.

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