US judge orders deposition of Cosby's wife kept under seal

BOSTON - A US magistrate judge has ordered that a deposition of Bill Cosby's wife in connection with sexual assault allegations against the comedian should be kept under seal.

The order, entered by Magistrate Judge David Hennessy late on Monday in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts, follows a request by Cosby family attorneys to delay the interview of Camille Cosby, the entertainer's spouse of almost 52 years and business manager.

She is scheduled to be deposed on Wednesday.

The Massachusetts civil suit is one a series of legal actions Cosby, 78, is facing over claims by more than 50 women that the actor sexually assaulted them after plying them with drugs and alcohol, in alleged instances that played out over decades.

Cosby's lawyers had argued that the intimate nature of the questions Camille Cosby could face in the deposition could cause her embarrassment if they were released publicly.

Prosecutors in Pennsylvania last week charged Cosby, best known for his role as the father character in the 1980's television hit "The Cosby Show," with sexually assaulting a women in 2004. That is the only criminal case filed against Cosby, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Cosby is free on $1 million bail and his lawyer has said the entertainer is not guilty and will not consider a plea bargain.

The Massachusetts civil lawsuit against Cosby was filed in December 2014 by Tamara Green, later joined by six other women, who contend that Cosby sexually assaulted or abused and then defamed them by calling each a liar, court documents said.

Last month Cosby counter-sued the women, claiming that they had defamed him by accusing him of sexual assault.