05 25 2016
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  • On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges 
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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 At the end of September, the top floor of North Portland library was transformed into a runway for a group of seasoned African American models as they strutted for what photographer Bruce Forster said was a crowd of about 50.

With live music playing, food and an appearance by the “Mayor of Northeast Portland,” Paul Knauls, Forster chalks the day up as a success.

“I’m at a loss of words on how to describe it,” Forster said. “They had great attitude.  They all just loved to sashay, and the music was really just perfect to help them parade around.”

In June, The Skanner News published a feature on Forster’s photo shoot with the models, which took place in 1975. Forster hadn’t collected the women’s names and put out a call to the community to help identify and reunite them.

With readers’ help, almost all the women were identified within a matter of weeks. However, not all were able to participate in the Sept. 27 show at the library.

Most of the women Forster captured in black and white in 1975 are in their 60s now, though some have passed away. Others have moved out of state, and a few could not be located.

Forster said prints of the few who hadn’t been found were placed on a table in the hope that someone may recognize them.

The women who remain in Portland -- Debbie Hicks, Patsy Andrews, Rosa Bletson-Washington and Sue Chiles -- took to the runway with style and confidence.

Those not present from the original shoots included: Mariam Fletcher, Sophia Gentry, Melinda Hicks, Barbara Garnett, Terry Napper and Jackie Allen.

Hicks called the experience “incredible.” Despite losing contact, the women’s comradery remained.

“It was as if we had not missed a beat. The girls were on cue, and we didn’t even have a rehearsal,” Hicks said.

According to Hicks, all of the women from the Forster’s original shoot were a part of a now-defunct Northeast Portland-based modeling troupe called the “Golden Girls.”

“We ate together, we did these shows all over the state of Oregon -- on the coast, up in the mountains, here in the neighborhood, so we pretty much got a chance to know each other and each other’s moves,” Hicks said. “[The reunion show] proved that nobody’s lost anything.”

Hicks said when she heard people were looking to find them this past summer she was both surprised and elated.

“Most of us weren’t looking to be big-time models,” she said. “We were just having fun, and pursuing a sort-of-kind-of dream here in Portland. If we made something of it, that was great. If we didn’t, that was great. We just wanted to give back to the neighborhood.”

Today Hicks said she has no ambition to walk the runway, only to act as a resource for young women who are considering a career path in modeling.

“I don’t know if our babies understand what true beauty is anymore, and how important it is for them to actually love themselves. If I could interest just a handful of girls in what it really means to be successful I’d really be satisfied,” Hicks said. 

Several other women, who weren’t a part of Forster’s original shoots back in 1975, also joined the runway, rounding the Sunday afternoon celebration. All the models were styled by Yollanda Nins-Johnson.

 “The overall thing was the joy of being together and the joy of being back together,” Forster said. “It was just so much fun to hear them getting ready and putting on their makeup, and just jiving with each other. It just got a lot of spirits up,” he said.

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