Lawyers for Bill Cosby have asked a federal judge to delay Wednesday's scheduled deposition by the comedian's wife, Camille, in a defamation lawsuit brought by seven women who allege the entertainer sexually abused them.
The lawyers said in court papers filed in a US district court in Massachusetts on Monday (local time) that the sworn interview should be delayed pending an appeal on whether Camille Cosby could be required to testify at all.
On December 31, a federal magistrate judge in Massachusetts rejected arguments by Camille Cosby, the comedian's wife of almost 52 years and his business manager, that the deposition would represent an "undue burden."
The ruling came a day after Cosby, 78, was charged with sexually assaulting a woman who prosecutors say the comedian plied with drugs and alcohol in 2004, the only criminal case filed against the entertainer, whose reputation has been marred by dozens of similar misconduct accusations.
Cosby is free on $US1 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.
US Magistrate Judge David Hennessy also rejected arguments by Camille Cosby that she lacked any first-hand knowledge of the events at issue, and that the court should protect her from "unnecessary harassment" by limiting the scope of the subpoena.