Kimberly Burr testified on Friday that she was 14 when Bill Cosby invited her to his trailer for a 1975 movie set in Los Angeles and began kissing her.
Ms Burr was testifying at the civil trial in Los Angeles where Mr. Cosby was prosecuted by another woman, Judy Huth, who accused Mr. Cosby of sexually assaulting her that same year, also when she was a teenager.
Ms. Burr, now 61, said she met Cosby at a tennis tournament in Palm Desert that year, where he invited her to the filming of “Let’s Do It Again” in Los Angeles with the promise of being an extra. She said that while her mother and other members of her family were waiting outside, he drove her to his trailer to help him fix his tie, where he grabbed her arms and started kissing her.
“I was stuck,” Ms Burr told the court. “I was struggling, trying to get away.”
When he left her, she said, she “goed right out of the trailer and down the stairs” and didn’t tell her family because she didn’t want to spoil the day for them.
During cross-examination, Mr. Cosby’s attorney, Jennifer Bunjian, challenged her account, asking how, after such a traumatic experience, she was able to keep photographs at the family home of the meeting showing Mrs. Burr and her brother with Mr. Cosby. “Does they bother you there?” She said.
Mr Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew White, declined to testify. “These are just allegations made in support of Judy Huth, whose allegations are not realistic at all,” he said in an interview.
Ms. Hoth’s case is the first civil lawsuit accusing Mr. Cosby of sexual assault to reach trial. Ms Hoth says in her lawsuit that she was sexually assaulted by Mr Cosby at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles in 1975, when she was 16, after she met him and her boyfriend in a park where he was filming “Let’s Do It” again. The same movie he was working on when he met Mrs. Burr.
Sexual Assault Cases Against Bill Cosby
After Bill Cosby’s 2018 criminal conviction for sexual assault was overturned, the first civil case accusing him of sexual misconduct reached trial.
Days after they met, Mr. Cosby invited Mrs. Huth and her friend to his tennis club, Mrs. Huth’s lawyers said, where Mrs. Huth played a game where she had to drink alcohol every time he won a game of pool, and then they both followed him in their car to a mansion play boy. Ms Hoth said that as soon as she got there, Mr. Cosby forced her to have sex with him in the bedroom.
Mr Cosby has denied that he sexually assaulted Ms Hoth, or any of the other women who have come forward in recent years to accuse him of sexual misconduct.
More than 50 women have accused Mr. Cosby of sexually assaulting them. This was the first time that Mrs. Burr had spoken publicly.
While Ms Hoth’s lawyers have sought to establish a pattern of behavior and abuse by Mr Cosby, they have called another witness, Margie Shapiro, 65, who had already filed charges in 2015.
Ms. Shapiro testified that she was 19 years old in 1975 when Mr. Cosby met her at the cake shop where she was working and invited her to the set of another movie he was shooting in Los Angeles. Later that day, they went to the Playboy Mansion, where she said he drugged and assaulted her. She said they played pinball together in the games room at the mansion, and that he gave her a pill after she lost. She said she remembered waking up: “My next memory was a blur, but I was in a bed naked and Bill Cosby was naked inside of me,” she said.
She said she told her boyfriend what happened but she never went to the police. “I felt like I went there by mutual consent, took a pill and he and I,” she said. “I felt stupid because I felt at the time that I had put myself in this situation.”
Mr Cosby’s spokesman, Mr. Wyatt, released a statement Friday afternoon saying the defendants were “self-defeating” and questioned their accounts. “As we stand on the grounds of truth and facts, we believe that Mr. Cosby will be acquitted of all allegations in order to move forward in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he said in the statement.
In challenging Ms. Shapiro’s account in court, Mr. Cosby’s legal team questioned whether she worked in the cake shop in the morning, said she had met Mr. Cosby, and whether she had gone to the Playboy mansion. They admitted that Mrs. Shapiro went to Mr. Cosby’s house, but insisted that the relationship was consensual. Ms. Shapiro said she stood by her account.
Mr. Cosby’s lawyers noted in court proceedings that what Mrs. Hoth remembered when her meeting happened had changed: while she initially said it had happened in 1974, when she was fifteen, she had recently concluded that it had been in 1975, when she was sixteen of her age. California law classifies the 16-year-old as a minor. Challenging Ms Hoth’s account, Mr Cosby’s lawyers suggested they met years after she said they did, when she was no longer a minor.
In their opening remarks, his attorneys sought to discredit Mrs. Hoth by noting that she and the friend who accompanied her to the Playboy mansion stayed for hours after the alleged encounter with Mr. Cosby, swimming in the outdoor pool and watching a movie. .
Friend Donna Samuelson testified that Mrs. Hoth was distraught and wanted to leave but Mrs. Samuelson persuaded her to stay.
Ms Hoth’s lawsuit, which she filed in 2014, has largely been put on hold while prosecutors in Pennsylvania have criminally pursued Mr Cosby for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand.
An appeals court overturned Cosby’s 2018 conviction in that case last year, which ruled that his non-prosecution agreement with the former attorney general meant Mr Cosby should not have been charged in the case. Mr. Cosby has been released after spending nearly three to 10 years in prison.
Cosby, 84, was not scheduled to testify and did not attend the early days of testimony, but is expected to testify in court.
Mrs. Hoth, 64, who was present, intends to report to the jury.