(CNN) — A Massachusetts court has denied a motion by Camille Cosby, wife of under-fire comedian Bill Cosby, to quash her deposition order. Camille Cosby will now have to testify in a defamation suit brought against her husband.
Seven plaintiffs allege that the “defendant drugged and/or sexually assaulted each” of them, according a court document denying Camille Cosby’s request. They are among 50 women who accuse the star of drugging them and raping or fondling them. Cosby has steadfastly denied wrongdoing.
In their suit, the women said Bill Cosby portrayed them as liars after they went public with their allegations.
Cosby countersued, saying that by accusing him of sexual assault, they hurt his reputation and derailed plans for his new family comedy on NBC.
Ordered to testify
Camille Cosby was directed in a December 9 subpoena to testify at a deposition on January 6, 2016, something her lawyers challenged on the grounds that information from the couple’s private conversations was privileged.
In a ruling issued Thursday, United States Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy wrote that he found “no merit” in Camille Cosby’s claim that “Massachusetts’ marital disqualification law renders her incompetent to testify in this matter … and accordingly deny her motion in its entirety.”
The seven women said they subpoenaed Cosby because she was her husband’s business manager, according to Cosby’s attorneys.
His legal team accused the women of trying to subject Camille Cosby to the shame of answering questions about her husband’s alleged infidelities.
Standing by Cosby
Camille Cosby married the comedian and star of “The Cosby Show” in 1964 when she was 19.
Last year, she released a statement supporting her husband, describing him as a victim of unvetted accusations.
“The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to love, is the man you all knew through his work,” she said.
“He is a kind man … and a wonderful husband, father and friend.”
Cosby is facing felony charges of sexual assault in Pennsylvania. No start date has been set for a trial, but if eventually convicted, he could face a maximum of 10 years in prison.