WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The latest on a hearing over whether materials gathered in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women against Bill Cosby can be kept out of the public eye (all times local):
A judge in the Massachusetts defamation suit filed against Bill Cosby by seven women who accuse him of sexual assault has rejected a proposal by the comedian’s lawyers that would have kept a significant amount of material in the case out of the public eye.
U.S. Magistrate Judge David Hennessy said Wednesday that protocol to protect potentially sensitive material like Social Security numbers and bank accounts from becoming public should be put in place in the case.
But he said the “blanket protective order” that Cosby’s lawyers proposed wasn’t appropriate.
Instead, the judge proposed more limited protections focused on information disclosed in depositions.
Both sides agreed to put the procedure in writing.
A lawyer for the women says he thinks the judge’s directions are appropriate.
Cosby’s lawyers declined to comment.
A lawyer for Bill Cosby has told a federal court he is considering asking for a postponement in the civil defamation case in Massachusetts in light of the criminal charges the comedian now faces in Pennsylvania.
Marshall Searcy said at Wednesday’s hearing in Worcester that the “new situation” has left the defense trying to decide on the best approach to move forward. The hearing was the first in Massachusetts since Cosby was charged Dec. 30 with sexually assaulting and drugging a woman inside his home near Philadelphia in 2004.
A lawyer for the seven women suing Cosby argued that Cosby’s scheduled Feb. 22 deposition in the civil case should move forward.
Magistrate David Hennessey didn’t immediately rule. He postponed the deposition of Cosby’s wife, Camille, that was scheduled this month.
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