A jury has ordered Bill Cosby to pay a sexual assault victim $500,000, but the cost of damages and his legal fees might not even reduce his total net worth.
Once labeled ‘America’s father’, Cosby’s fall from grace continued this week as a jury found him responsible for sexually assaulting a teenager in 1975. He was ordered to pay 500 $000 as a result, though both sides claim victory and Cosby’s attorneys have expressed their intention to appeal the decision. He was released from prison in June 2021 after having several sexual assault charges dropped.
The latest estimate of his total net worth is $400 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Cosby, 84, starred in and created a number of classic TV shows in the 70s, 80s and 90s, including The Bill Cosby Show, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids and The Cosby Show. It is believed that he amassed the majority of his wealth during his TV heyday when he was the highest paid TV actor in the world, rumored to have earned $1 million per episode of The Cosby Show during its heyday.
Many sources suggest that the majority of its income today comes from residues of The Cosby Show, which is still in syndication. Cosby also has an extensive art collection as well as over $100 million in real estate.
He has faced a series of legal battles over the past decade over multiple sexual assault allegations. Although the charges for these were costly, they are unlikely to have had a serious impact on Cosby’s considerable wealth.
Celebrities are known to pay top dollar for their legal representation if they want to emerge victorious from a court case. It was recently estimated that Johnny Depp paid $5.5 million for his legal team while Amber Heard paid $3 million for hers in their recently concluded defamation lawsuit.
Another example of costly legal representation was seen during Britney Spears’ fight to free herself from her conservatorship. In March 2021, court documents obtained by Yahoo Entertainment showed the singer had to pay over $2 million in legal fees.
Reflecting on these numbers and comparing them to Cosby’s case, Duncan Levin, managing partner at Levin & Associates PLLC, said Newsweek it’s unlikely Cosby spent that much in his final court battle. He previously represented Harvey Weinstein, Clare Bronfman (formerly of the NXIVM cult), and Anna Delvey.
“Defending against serious charges involves not only the best legal maneuvers in court, but a multi-faceted approach outside of court, including experts and public relations.” said Levin. “For defendants high in the public eye, clearing their name against such charges is more important than money.”
“It’s hard to imagine [Cosby] spent $3 million defending a $500,000 case, but again, it’s more about clearing his name than money, so it’s a possibility. But the Heard-Depp lawsuit lasted a long time and more money was at stake, so you could say it was less than that.”
In Cosby’s recent civil trial, the jury found he sexually abused Judy Huth, now 64, in 1975, when she was 16, at the Playboy Mansion. While he was to pay $500,000, no punitive damages were awarded, which Cosby’s team called “a stunning victory.”
According VarietyCosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, said his attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, would appeal the verdict and that Huth would “never receive a salary”.
Wyatt said: “If jurors had awarded punitive damages to Judy Huth, it would have been in the range of over $10 million, which would have been a devastating loss to our legal efforts and the Cosby family. “
Wyatt also estimated that Huth’s legal fees will total $3 million.
Huth is represented by famed attorney Gloria Allred, who disputes that claim.
She said Variety: “Ms. Huth has no legal fees for my law firm’s fees. The $3 million legal bill that Mr. Wyatt cited appears to be a figment of his imagination. Alternatively, it may be that the $3 million is what Mr. Cosby had to spend hiring countless lawyers over the years in his unsuccessful efforts to defend himself against Ms. Huth’s lawsuit.