Legal arguments in a civil case against Bill Cosby have come to a close, with his lawyer telling jurors they should not believe his accuser’s claim that the comedian sexually assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion in 1975.
Cosby lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said plaintiff Judy Huth “did not tell the truth about a number of important things” in her testimony that Cosby forced her to perform a sex act when she was 16 and he was 37.
The actor and comedian denies the allegation.
A main issue raised by Ms Bonjean is that Ms Huth has changed the date she said the alleged incident occurred.
When Ms Huth filed the lawsuit in December 2014, she said Cosby took her hand and performed a sexual act with it in a bedroom at the mansion in 1974. Weeks before the trial, she said she had been mistaken about the date and now believes it happened in 1975.
“I don’t think you can believe anything Ms Huth says, frankly,” Ms Bonjean told jurors in California Superior Court on Wednesday (US time).
Ms Bonjean argued Ms Huth and a friend who accompanied her to the mansion had come up with a story together to get money from Cosby. The friend also had initially said the date was 1974.
Ms Huth’s lawyer Nathan Goldberg asked jurors to hold Cosby “fully accountable”.
Ms Huth is seeking damages for emotional distress she said she suffered from 2014, when allegations against Cosby were prevalent in the news, and 2018 when he was sentenced to prison for sexual assault in Pennsylvania.
“Four years of misery. What is that worth to someone? $1 million a year? $2 million a year?” Mr Goldberg said.
Jurors are expected to start deliberations on Thursday.
Cosby did not appear in person at the trial, but jurors were shown a 10-minute video of Cosby answering questions from one of Ms Huth’s lawyers during a deposition in 2015.
While Cosby said he did not remember Ms Huth, he said the incident could not have happened because he would not have pursued sexual contact with someone who was 15.
The trial came 11 months after Cosby was freed from prison when Pennsylvania’s highest court threw out his sexual assault conviction in a different case.
Cosby, 84, is best known for his role as the loveable husband and father in the 1980s television comedy series The Cosby Show.
But his family-friendly reputation was shattered after more than 50 women accused him of sexual assaults over nearly five decades.