Camille Scores Victory for Cosby
Camille Cosby just scored a victory for her beleaguered husband, Bill Cosby. He has been inundated with accusations of sexual misconduct by several women. The allegations in some cases date back to 1968.
Camille Cosby has been by the side of her man Bill since she turned 19 years old in 1964.The same year the couple married.
Plaintiffs in a civil suit against her husband have subpoenaed her to appear at a deposition on January 6, 2016. Usually, parties, and witnesses close to the parties , as a matter of courtesy, are not subpoenaed, but simply given a notice of a deposition date.
This courtesy was not extended to Camille Cosby. She filed an appeal to quash the deposition subpoena. She claimed as the spouse of the defendant in the civil suit brought by seven women, she could not be compelled to testify as to privileged communication between she and her husband.
On the last day of 2015 and the day after Bill Cosby was indicted by a Pennsylvania court for sexual misconduct, a federal magistrate ruled that Camille Cosby’s claim that the Massachusetts Marital Disqualification Statute shielded her from testifying about privileged communication she engaged in with her husband did not have merit.
Today (January 5, 2015), another federal magistrate ruled on an appeal of the magistrate court order compelling Camille Cosby to appear at the scheduled deposition. The ruling temporarily suspended the plaintiff’s subpoena requiring Camille Cosby to appear for the deposition on January 6.
By temporarily suspending the deposition, the federal magistrate gave Camille Cosby’s lawyers time to file a motion setting forth why she should be shielded under the Massachusetts Marital Disqualification Statute.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs contend that Camille Cosby should not receive the protection of this law because in addition to being married to Bill Cosby for over a half-century, she doubled as his manager. They contend information that Camille Cosby learned as her husband’s manager does not come under the privileged exception to spousal communication.
This appeal will turn on whether the court will pierce the veil and separate Camille Cosby the spouse from Camille Cosby the business manager. This presents an interesting legal dichotomy: In all marriages the spousal arrangement is a partnership, which is usually managed by the wife.
The significance of this ruling is that it is the first time that anyone in authority has ruled based upon legal principles without paying deference to the massive negative public opinion that the plaintiffs and California lawyer Gloria Allred have been able to amass against Bill Cosby over the previous year and one-half.
This means that Bill Cosby may get a fair bite at the apple based upon legal precedents, in spite of the negative spin emanating from traditional media outlets.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.