Arts

Woman Testifies That Bill Cosby Kissed Her When She Was 14

Kimberly Burr testified Friday that she was 14 years old when Bill Cosby invited her into his trailer on a film set in Los Angeles in 1975 and started kissing her.

Ms. Burr was testifying in the civil trial in Los Angeles where Mr. Cosby has been sued by another woman, Judy Huth, who has accused Mr. Cosby of sexually assaulting her that same year, when she was also a teenager.

Ms. Burr, who is now 61, said that she had met Mr. Cosby at a tennis tournament in Palm Desert that year, where he had invited her to the set of the film “Let’s Do It Again” in Los Angeles with the promise of being an extra. While her mother and other members of her family waited outside, she said, he led her into his trailer to help him fix his bow tie, where he grabbed both her arms and started kissing her.

“I was stuck,” Ms. Burr told the court. “I was struggling, trying to get away.”

When he let go, she said, she “walked right out of the trailer down the steps” and didn’t tell her family because she didn’t want to ruin the day for them.

During cross-examination, Jennifer Bonjean, a lawyer for Mr. Cosby, challenged her account, asking how, after such a traumatic experience, she could have kept photographs of the meeting showing Ms. Burr and her brother with Mr. Cosby. “Did it bother you that they were there?” she said.

The 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 has reached trial.

  • The Civil Trial: Judy Huth has accused Mr. Cosby of assaulting her as a teenager. She sued in 2014, but the case had been on hold while he was criminally prosecuted.
  • Criminal Conviction: In 2018, a jury found the disgraced entertainer guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home near 14 years earlier,
  • His Release From Prison: After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the conviction, Mr. Cosby was released from prison on June 30, 2021.
  • The Ruling: The conviction was overturned on the grounds that prosecutors violated Mr. Cosby’s rights by reneging on a promise not to charge him.

A spokesman for Mr. Cosby, Andrew Wyatt, dismissed the testimony as fiction. “These are just allegations made up to support Judy Huth whose claims are not factual at all,” he said in an interview.

Ms. Huth’s case is the first civil suit accusing Mr. Cosby of sexual assault to reach trial. In her lawsuit, Ms. Huth says that she was sexually assaulted by Mr. Cosby at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1975, when she was 16, after she and a friend met him in a park where he was filming “Let’s Do It Again,” the same movie he was working on when he met Ms. Burr.

Days after their meeting Mr. Cosby invited Ms. Huth and her friend to his tennis club, Ms. Huth’s lawyers have said, where Ms. Huth played a game where she had to drink alcohol every time he won at billiards, and then they both followed him in their car to the Playboy Mansion. Once there, Ms. Huth has said, Mr. Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him in a bedroom.

Mr. Cosby has denied he sexually assaulted Ms. Huth, 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 abusing them. This was the first time Ms. Burr has spoken publicly.

As Ms. Huth’s lawyers have sought to demonstrate a pattern of behavior and abuse by Mr. Cosby, they called another witness, Margie Shapiro, 65, who had already come forward with accusations in 2015.

Ms. Shapiro testified that she was 19 in 1975 when Mr. Cosby met her at the doughnut shop where she was working and invited her to the set of another movie he was filming in Los Angeles. Later that day, they went to the Playboy Mansion where, she said, he drugged and assaulted her. She said that they had played pinball together in the game room at the mansion, and that he offered her a pill after she lost. She said she remembered waking up, they were naked in bed, and he was sexually assaulting her. “My next memory was foggy but I was in a bed naked and Bill Cosby was naked, inside me,” she said.

She said she told a friend what had happened but never went to the police. “I went there consensually, I took a pill and he’s him and I am me,” she said.

Mr. Wyatt said Mr. Cosby denied all allegations against him. In challenging her account in court, Ms. Bonjean suggested Ms. Shapiro was not at work on the morning she said she met Mr. Cosby. “He didn’t come to the doughnut shop that day, did he?” she said. “You were not at the doughnut shop that day either.” Mr. Cosby’s legal team was expected to cross-examine her further on Friday.

Mr. Cosby’s lawyers have noted in court proceedings that Ms. Huth’s recollection of when her encounter took place has changed: While she initially said it happened in 1974, when she was 15, she more recently concluded it was in 1975, when she was 16. The law in California classified a 16-year-old as a minor. In disputing Ms. Huth’s account, Mr. Cosby’s lawyers have suggested they met years after the time she said they did, when she was no longer a minor.

In their opening remarks, his lawyers sought to discredit Ms. Huth’s account by pointing out 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.

The friend, Donna Samuelson, has testified that Ms. Huth was distraught and wanted to leave but Ms. Samuelson persuaded her to stay.

Ms. Huth’s lawsuit, which she filed in 2014, had largely been put on hold while prosecutors in Pennsylvania pursued Mr. Cosby criminally on charges that he sexually assaulted Andrea Constand.

Mr. Cosby’s 2018 conviction in that case was overturned last year by an appellate court, which ruled that a non-prosecution agreement he made with a previous prosecutor meant that Mr. Cosby should not have been charged in the case. Mr. Cosby walked free after serving nearly three years of a three- to 10-year sentence.

Mr. Cosby, 84, is not scheduled to testify and has not attended the opening days of testimony, but his deposition testimony is expected to be played in court.

Ms. Huth, 64, who has been in attendance, is intending to give her account to the jury.

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