Attorneys for Bill Cosby's wife seek stay of deposition

Attorneys for the wife of comedian Bill Cosby have filed an emergency motion to stay her upcoming deposition in a defamation case brought by seven women against the entertainer, court records showed.

Camille Cosby's lawyers late on Saturday filed the motion in a federal court in Massachusetts to delay her deposition pending an appeal of a Friday ruling not to halt the proceeding. They argued the deposition, scheduled for Monday, would create a"media circus" and threaten her personal safety.

Lawyers for the seven women fired back in a response on Sunday, saying the claims were without merit. "The Cosbys' last-minute filing is the latest in a series of increasingly brazen attempts to interfere with the deposition of Mrs. Cosby," the filing said. "The Cosbys should not be allowed to indefinitely delay Mrs. Cosby's deposition by repeatedly filing what is in substance the same motion, over and over again." US District Judge Mark Mastroianni earlier this month ruled that Camille Cosby would have to talk to lawyers bringing the defamation suit against the comedian, although she could not be compelled to reveal private conversations with her husband.

More than 50 women have publicly accused Cosby - best known for his role as the father in the 1980s television hit "The Cosby Show" - of raping them, often after plying them with alcohol or drugs in incidents dating back decades.

Most of the alleged assaults date too far back to be criminally prosecuted, but Pennsylvania officials late last year charged the 78-year-old entertainer with sexually assaulting a woman in 2005, with the charges coming just days before the statute of limitations was to expire.

Cosby has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, but a Pennsylvania judge early this month rejected Cosby's request to dismiss the charges.

The Massachusetts lawsuit was filed in December 2014 by Tamara Green and later joined by six other women who contend Cosby sexually assaulted or abused and defamed them by calling them liars.