CELEBRATION

Gloria Allred: Cosby Charge Is ‘Best Christmas Present’ for Alleged Victims

Kevork Djansezian/Reuters

Attorney Gloria Allred holds a news conference in Los Angeles, California to comment on the aggravated indecent assault charges filed against comedian Bill Cosby by the Montgomery County, Pennsylvania District Attorney December 30, 2015. Cosby has been charged with felony sexual assault over an incident in 2004 at his Philadelphia-area mansion, a Pennsylvania prosecutor said on Wednesday, in the first criminal case involving the comedian after years of mounting accusations.

Gloria Allred is not done with Bill Cosby.

The attorney who represents over two dozen Cosby accusers smiled as she praised Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele for charging the 78-year-old comedian with felony sexual assault Wednesday in Pennsylvania.

“For many of my 29 clients who allege that they are victims of Bill Cosby, seeing him criminally charged and having to face a trial is the best Christmas present they have ever received,” said Allred, who held up a copy of Cosby’s arrest complaint for a triumphant photo op in Los Angeles.

The powerhouse lawyer addressed the media in her Los Angeles offices hours after the embattled comedy legend was charged with the sexual assault of Andrea Constandt, who alleges that Cosby drugged and raped her in 2004.

The majority of Allred’s clients accusing Cosby of sexual abuse have been stymied by the statute of limitations in various states, Allred said. But today’s criminal charge fuels the civil case of Allred’s client Judy Huth, who alleges that Cosby victimized her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, when she was just 15 years old.

The Huth civil case qualifies as a complaint by “an adult survivor of child sexual abuse,” said Allred, who said that many of her clients are willing to testify in Cosby’s criminal case.

According to Allred, Cosby’s “refusal to answer certain questions” in a sealed October 2015 deposition in the Huth complaint prompted Allred to file a motion to compel a second deposition from Cosby, slated to be heard on February 2, 2016 in Los Angeles Superior Court. Allred said that the DA in Montgomery County has not been given access to the sealed Cosby deposition in the Huth civil case.

“It is very significant that the Montgomery County District Attorney felt that the case against Mr. Cosby was strong enough that it could meet the standard of proof in a criminal case,” Allred said. “In our civil case on behalf of Ms. Huth, our burden of proof is much lower.”

She declared the criminal case “the highest-profile criminal case in this country involving a celebrity” and praised Cosby’s alleged victims for coming forward.

“It can be very intimidating to go up against a celebrity who has an army of attorneys—in this civil case, he has 700 attorneys,” said Allred. “He hired 700 attorneys to fight one woman.”

—Jen Yamato