Bill Cosby lawyers criticise ‘inaccurate’ media coverage
22 July 2015
- From the section Entertainment & Arts
Bill Cosby’s lawyers claim he has been damaged by “inaccurate” media reports, after it was revealed he had obtained sedatives to give to women before sex.
The star’s admission came in recently-unsealed documents from a 2005 civil case, in which Andrea Constand accused the star of drugging and molesting her.
In their first comment since the papers were made public this month, Mr Cosby’s lawyers said he did not admit to giving any women drugs without their consent.
He has denied all claims of sex abuse.
The Cosby Show star is facing a series of historic sexual assault allegations dating back several decades, but has not been charged with any crimes.
Court documents relating to the 2005 case brought by Ms Constand – an employee at Temple University in the 1970s – were published earlier this month, after the Associated Press news agency applied to a judge to have the sealed papers made public.
They revealed Mr Cosby had admitted obtaining Quaaludes from several doctors to give to women before sexual encounters, but did not take them himself.
However Mr Cosby’s lawyers said he had in fact “admitted to nothing more than being one of the many people who introduced Quaaludes into their consensual sex life in the 1970s.
“Quaaludes were a highly popular recreational drug in the 1970s, labelled in slang as ‘disco biscuits,’ and known for their capacity to increase sexual arousal.
“There are countless tales of celebrities, music stars, and wealthy socialites in the 1970s willingly using Quaaludes for recreational purposes and during consensual sex,” they said.
Mr Cosby’s legal team – Patrick O’Connor and George Gowen – has filed new court papers in an attempt to stop the judge unsealing the full set of documents from Ms Constand’s case, including the confidential settlement agreement.
After excerpts were unsealed earlier this month, the New York Times published further details at the weekend after obtaining the complete file from a court reporting service.
Mr Cosby’s lawyers have argued that all parties had agreed to keep documents from the case confidential as part of an out-of-court settlement and that Ms Constand was now trying to “smear the defendant” by helping to leak them to the New York Times.
They said that the media, “armed with only one side of the story”, had “cavalierly misinterpreted” Mr Cosby’s evidence.
They added that at no point had the entertainer admitted to having any non-consensual sex or giving any women drugs without their knowledge.
“Yet, upon the unsealing of these excerpt, the media immediately pounced, inaccurately labelling the release testimony as [Cosby’s] ‘confession’ of ‘drugging’ women and assaulting them,” they said.
“Reading the media accounts, one would conclude that [Cosby] has admitted to rape. And yet [he] admitted to nothing more than being one of the many people who introduced Quaaludes into their consensual sex life in the 1970s.”
Cosby had said in court that he would offer the drug “the same as a person would say, ‘have a drink,'”, but that the only drug he gave Ms Constand was the allergy medicine Benadryl.
More than twelve women have accused Cosby of sexual assault, but he has denied all of the claims.
Timeline of allegations against Bill Cosby
2002: Lachele Covington, a 20-year-old actress, reportedly files a police report saying she had been inappropriately touched. No further action was taken.
2005: Andrea Constand sues Mr Cosby for sexual assault. The case is eventually settled out of court in 2006.
2014: Over the year, dozens of women make public accusations that Mr Cosby sexually assaulted them. Live shows are cancelled across the country amid protests
November 2014: TV network NBC scraps plans for a new show with the comedian following allegations by TV presenter Janice Dickinson that he had assaulted her in 1982. Repeats of the Cosby Show are also pulled from cable TV
December 2014: Judy Huth sues Mr Cosby for molesting her in 1974 when she was 15 years old. Mr Cosby counter-sues, claiming she is trying to extort money from him
May 2015: Mr Cosby speaks publicly about the allegations for the first time. “I can’t speak; I just don’t want to argue; I don’t talk about it,” he told ABC News.
July 2015: Court papers made public from Constand’s 2005 civil case reveal Mr Cosby admitted obtaining sedatives with the intent of giving them to women he wanted to have sex with.
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