Camille Cosby Wins the Battle, Not the War

Camille Cosby was set to be deposed in a sexual misconduct and defamation lawsuit filed by seven different accusers against her husband, comedian Bill Cosby, on Wednesday, January 6, 2016 in Springfield, Massachusetts. In an attempt to block the subpoena, Mrs. Cosby’s attorneys filed a motion to quash the subpoena for the deposition on the basis that information gathered would be protected by the marital privilege. The motion to quash was denied by United States Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy. The Magistrate wrote that he found “no merit” in Camille Cosby’s claim that “Massachusetts’ marital disqualification law renders her incompetent to testify in this matter … and accordingly deny her motion in its entirety.”

On January 5, 2016, the same judge, United States Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy granted Camille Cosby’s emergency motion for a stay of the deposition. The court wrote: “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.” Hence, the deposition is now stayed until Mrs. Cosby’s attorneys have the opportunity to fully brief the appeal of his prior court order.

As a matter of background, Camille grew up in Norbeck, Maryland, just outside Washington D.C. and she is the oldest of four children. After graduating high school, she went to the University of Maryland, where she met her now husband on a blind date. They engaged and married shortly after. The main crux of the legal issue is that Mrs. Cosby acts as manager for her husband. During an interview with Ebony Magazine, Bill Cosby stated, “People would rather deal with me than with Camille. She’s rough to deal with when it comes to my business.”

According to a July 2015 article from the New York Post, Mrs. Cosby admitted that her husband is a “serial philanderer, but believes his scores of accusers consented to drugs and sex.: The article also mentions that she “‘stopped being embarrassed long ago’ by her husband’s affairs, the family source said, but cannot tolerate the ‘invasion of privacy.'”

The ongoing legal war between Mr. Cosby and his accusers has now flung his wife and business manager into the hostilities. The combination of business manager and wife places the martial privilege in jeopardy. Stay tuned for the appellate decision and the next round of motion practice

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