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Bill Cosby Handed Legal Setback In Sexual Assault Claim From 1974

The California Supreme Court has denied Bill Cosby's petition to review a lawsuit brought by a woman who says the comedian molested her at the Playboy mansion in 1974 when she was 15, a setback to Cosby's attempts to stave off the decades-old allegations.

"We are looking forward to Mr. Cosby answering questions under oath at his deposition and we will continue to seek justice for our courageous client," attorney Gloria Allred said in a statement.

Her client, Judy Huth, is suing Cosby for sexual battery, saying the comedian forced her to perform a sex act on him in 1974. Los Angeles police are investigating the claims.

Allred said she plans to take Cosby's deposition within the next 30 days.

More than two dozen women have accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them. The comedian has denied the allegations, and has not been charged in any of the alleged assaults, some of which fall outside the statute of limitations.

But in recent weeks, it has emerged that Cosby, in a deposition in another case, acknowledged giving Quaaludes to women with whom he wanted to have sex. Cosby's lawyers insist the admission does not mean Cosby "admitted to rape." They say Quaaludes were widely used in the 1970s.

Last weekend, The New York Times reported that in a sworn deposition from 2005 Cosby acknowledged using drugs and banked on his fame to get women to have sex with him, and then paid them off to keep the affairs from his wife.

The scandal has hurt the once-revered comedian: NBC canceled a project with him, as did Netflix. The U.S. Navy revoked an honorary title for the comedian, and he resigned from the board of trustees at Temple University.

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Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.