2:02pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Bill Cosby Sues Rape Accuser at Center of Criminal Charge
Fighting a sexual assault charge, Bill Cosby is now suing former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, the woman whose rape allegations have fueled a criminal proceeding.
Cosby has filed his complaint under the cloak of seal. A Pennsylvania judge ordered that he refile a redacted copy by Tuesday, but thus far, Cosby has failed to do so. The new lawsuit targets Constand, her mother, two of her attorneys and the parent company of National Enquirer and according to sources, deals with promised confidentiality.
Constand originally went to law enforcement authorities in 2004 with allegations that after Cosby befriended her, and she resisted his sexual advances, Cosby gave her pills and wine and then proceeded towards sexual acts without her consent. At the time, the District Attorney elected not to pursue charges, and she sued Cosby. Constand added American Media, Inc. over an interview and story it completed with Cosby around the same time. The case was settled in 2006, but amid other women coming forward with similar stories about Cosby, the Constand case was reignited upon the revelation of what Cosby had said in a deposition in the civil lawsuit.
Cosby's admission that he gave women pills for the purpose of sex caused the new District Attorney in Montgomery County, Pa. to open a new investigation, and at the end of this past year to file a charge against Cosby for committing aggravated indecent assault, a second-degree felony. Earlier this month, a judge allowed the case to move forward over Cosby's objection that he had struck a non-prosecution agreement with the former DA.
Notwithstanding Cosby's recent attempt to pause civil litigation against him by other women, the entertainer is now bringing a new lawsuit against Constand.
Although the complaint is not yet public, the fact that American Media, Inc. is named as a co-defendant in a contract claim almost certainly means this dispute pertains to the decade-old settlement agreement. Cosby could be aiming to shut up his accuser by getting a judge to enforce a confidentiality provision. Constand's attorney has previously indicated that her client will cooperate fully, which presumably means she'll agree to testify. "She'll do whatever she needs to do, whatever they ask of her," said Dolores Troiani.
Cosby could also be eyeing a breach of the settlement agreement already. Last July, Cosby began investigating how The New York Times was able to obtain his deposition and hinted at legal action. "How that deposition became public without being court-sanctioned is something we are going to pursue and deal with very vigorously," said one of Cosby's attorneys at the time.
We'll provide further updates when more about the complaint is revealed in court.