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A decade ago, Bill Cosby admitted under oath that he gave women drugs for the purpose of sex.
In a deposition on Sept. 29, 2005, the comedian was asked, “When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?”
“Yes,” responded Cosby.
After Cosby admitted this, the comedian’s attorneys attempted to argue to the judge that Cosby “misunderstood the question” and thought it only pertained to Theresa Serignese, who is one of the three women currently suing him for defamation in Massachusetts.
The documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter were revealed after a Pennsylvania judge agreed to unseal old court filings in a settled case brought by Andrea Constand, who was the first woman to publicly come forward with allegations that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her. The settlement happened in the midst of discovery as Cosby confronted charges that there were other women who were victims.
Once the case was settled, the court papers remained private until today. In December, the Associated Press filed a motion to intervene and cited a local rule presuming the unsealing after two years.
Cosby fought to keep the documents private, arguing he wasn’t a public figure, there’s “no legitimate public interest” in an old sex abuse lawsuit, and confidentiality should be maintained on materials described as posing a “real, specific threat of serious embarrassment.”
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno agreed to open up court records.
Cosby “has donned the mantle of public moralist and mounted the proverbial electronic or print soap box to volunteer his views on, among other things, childrearing, family life, education and crime,” states Robreno’s opinion. “To the extent that Defendant has freely entered the public square and ‘thrust himself into the vortex of th[ese] public issue[s],’ he has voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy that he is entitled to claim.”
The court documents shed more light on some of the accusations against Cosby.
For example, according to one of the newly revealed court papers (see here), Cosby testified that he called Tom Illus of the William Morris Agency and asked him to send money to one female accuser. Cosby is said to have testified that Illus did not ask him why. Cosby also said he wasn’t sure whether he asked Illus to send money to more women. (Illus died four years ago.)
As for Constand, who was the director of operations for the women’s basketball program at Temple University — Cosby’s alma mater — Cosby admitted during the deposition to have once offered her mother some money for Constand’s education after the sexual abuse allegation was made. Cosby attempted to explain he offered money because he feared that she would use the allegations to embarrass him. In unsealed court documents, Constand’s attorney also says that Cosby sent his accuser to meet with a rep at the William Morris Agency.
According to a plaintiff court filing, several people told the police that Cosby used a modeling agency in Denver “to supply him with young women,” and after alleged victims came forward, Cosby used the William Morris Agency to “funnel money” to accusers. There’s even a less-than-subtle hint that the talent agency would have been added as a co-defendant in the lawsuit had it proceeded further. Constand’s attorney aimed to establish in the discovery process that “the Agency not only permitted defendant to libel plaintiff, … it also used other celebrities under contract to them to publicize that slander, in order to preserve their economic interest in defendant.”
In a statement to ABC News, Cosby’s rep said: “The only reason Mr. Cosby settled was because it would have been embarrassing in those days to put all those women on the stand, and his family had no clue. That would have been very hurtful.”
July 6, 9:40 p.m. Updated with Cosby rep’s statement.
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