SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA (REUTERS) – A woman who accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting her in the mid-1970s began her court testimony on Monday (June 6), describing how she and a friend met the comedian as teenagers and accompanied him to the famed Playboy Mansion.
Ms Judy Huth, who has filed a civil lawsuit against Cosby, 84, for unspecified damages, told jurors she was playing frisbee at a public park on a weekday when she noticed a movie filming nearby.
She and a friend, Ms Donna Samuelson, walked closer and recognised Cosby, Sidney Poitier and other actors.
Cosby approached the girls and they “bantered”, she said, before he invited them to meet him the following Saturday at a tennis club. She and Ms Samuelson were “excited”, she said.
“We were kids. It was a celebrity. It was out of the norm, that’s for sure,” Ms Huth said.
She said she and Ms Samuelson met Cosby at the tennis club, then followed him by car to his home, played a few games of pool and followed him to another location.
Ms Huth realised it was the Playboy Mansion when Cosby pointed out a picture of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner on the wall.
Ms Huth, 64, is set to continue her testimony on Tuesday.
In her lawsuit, Ms Huth said Cosby forced her to perform a sex act while she was at the mansion.
She previously said the incident occurred in 1974, when she was 15, but recently said she now believes it was 1975.
The civil trial in California, one of the last legal cases against Cosby, is taking place 11 months after Cosby was freed from prison when Pennsylvania’s highest court threw out his sexual assault conviction in a different case.
Cosby’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said in opening statements that the alleged assault of Ms Huth was a “fabrication”, though Cosby did not dispute that he invited Ms Huth and her friend to the mansion.
“The evidence is going to show that Ms Huth is not telling the truth,” Ms Bonjean said.