Bill Cosby Story Blows Up Again After Report About Court Case (Updated)
UPDATE: By Tuesday afternoon, the Los Angeles Times had handily tracked down legal experts who speculated about Cosby’s prospects in the wake of AP’s big reveal — specifically, whether Cosby could face further trouble in court.
Meanwhile, comedy impresario Judd Apatow called on Cosby’s on- and offscreen leading ladies, “The Cosby Show’s” Phylicia Rashad and Mrs. Camille Cosby, respectively, to “stand with the victims and not with their attacker” in light of the newly released details from the 2005 case.
Finally, two famous women in Cosby’s camp, Raven-Symoné and Whoopi Goldberg, continued to offer their support despite the headlines and the backlash from others in the celebrisphere.
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The fallout from a cascade of accusations in recent months about Bill Cosby’s alleged drug-enabled sexual assaults, which the veteran comic and his legal team had attempted to stem, became more serious this week after The Associated Press released details of a lawsuit from 2005.
That AP report, posted Monday, relayed the contents of previously sealed court records about the decade-old case brought by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.
Cosby’s camp fought to keep that legal battle out of the public domain for obvious reasons — foremost among them that the comedian testified under oath about procuring quaaludes to give to young women with whom he intended to have sex, and also that he admitted to giving them to one woman and “other people”:
The 77-year-old comedian was testifying under oath in a lawsuit filed by a former Temple University employee. He testified he gave her three half-pills of Benadryl.
Cosby settled that sexual-abuse lawsuit for undisclosed terms in 2006. His lawyers in the Philadelphia case did not immediately return phone calls Monday.
On Tuesday, Vanity Fair dug further into the same court records for more information about Cosby’s admissions:
Cosby testified that he obtained seven prescriptions for quaaludes.
If there is one surprise in this dense deposition dialogue—during which the plaintiff’s lawyer alleged Cosby’s lawyer “openly coached the witness,” “interrupted the questioning with long-winded and repetitive speaking objections,” and “ultimately improperly terminated the deposition”—it’s that quaaludes were mentioned a lot. In fact there is a whole section devoted to the sedative in the paperwork entitled “Questions related to Quaaludes.”
Cosby confirmed that he gave the drug to other people. But Cosby’s lawyer interrupted and/or prevented the comedian from answering a variety of quaalude questions, including how long the comedian had the drug in his possession after he stopped getting prescriptions and if he ever tried to obtain drugs with similar side effects.
Vanity Fair’s account also pointed out that the Constand case brought up details of other stories about Cosby’s past that have also made headlines, such as how Cosby agreed to sit for an interview with the National Enquirer in 2005 to prevent the tabloid from running a story about another accuser, Beth Ferrier.
Also Tuesday, CBS News considered the question of whether the AP’s revelations will lead to more legal trouble for Cosby:
While Bill Cosby admitted under oath in 2005 to obtaining sedative drug Quaaludes with the intent of using them on women he wanted to have sex with, and that he gave them to one woman and “other people,” it may only put the comedian in “some” legal jeopardy, according to CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman.
“We do know at least that the defamation lawsuits are still pending in Massachusetts. It could be introduced as an admission. But, we don’t know, and there’s no way to find out, as to what Quaaludes he bought and who he used them with, and are these three specific women ‘victims’ of those Quaaludes?” Klieman said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning.”
CBS’ legal consultant also mentioned that the news would prove to be “most damning” for the embattled comic in the court of public opinion. Cosby’s comedy enterprise has also taken a hit, however, in the form of canceled deals involving projects that were in the works and, as Variety reported Tuesday, reruns of the series “Cosby” and “The Cosby Show.”
On Monday, singer and former Cosby supporter Jill Scott made it clear on Twitter that she was no longer standing by him in light of evidence provided by the AP’s report. “Proof will always matter more than public opinion. The sworn testimony is proof. Completely disgusted.” Scott tweeted, adding, “I stood by a man I respected and loved. I was wrong. It HURTS!!!”
–Posted by Kasia Anderson