Bill Cosby’s admission under oath in 2005 that he obtained quaaludes to give to young women with whom he wanted to have sex came during a lawsuit brought by a former Temple University employee.
Here’s a guide to that case and how court documents containing the admission came to be unsealed 10 years after Cosby made the statement under questioning from a lawyer for the ex-Temple employee.
Former Temple University basketball operations director Andrea Constand contacted police in January 2005 to say she had been drugged and molested at Cosby’s home near Philadelphia a year earlier. She knew Cosby through his frequent appearances at and advocacy for his alma mater. She said the encounter occurred after she attended a dinner at his home, where she had gone to get career advice. She said Cosby gave her what she thought were herbal pills for stress but she woke up with her clothes disheveled and a memory of being molested.
A year later, Constand and her mother wanted an apology from Cosby and wanted to know what was in the blue pills he gave her, according to the unsealed documents. Local prosecutors declined to bring charges, saying there was not enough evidence given the year it took for Constand to come forward. Constand then sued Cosby. The case was settled before trial in 2006, with both sides agreeing to a strict confidentiality clause that prevents them from discussing it. Cosby had called any sexual contact consensual, Constand’s lawyer said in the unsealed documents.
About a dozen women came forward to support Constand’s lawsuit and agree to testify on her behalf before the lawsuit was settled. In the years since, the number continues to climb. Many of these women were in or were pursuing work in the entertainment industry and tell similar tales of being drugged and molested by Cosby. Cosby, through his agents, had at least one woman’s story spiked in a tabloid newspaper and denied others. Three of the women are now suing him for defamation in Massachusetts, saying the denials branded them liars. None of the allegations has been recent enough to be considered for possible criminal charges given various statutes of limitations.
UNSEALING OF COURT DOCUMENTS
U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno agreed on Monday with a request by The Associated Press to unseal court documents from Constand’s civil sex-assault lawsuit. Documents that included excerpts of Cosby’s statements, given during questioning by Constand’s attorney, were temporarily sealed at the time. The AP tried and failed to get them unsealed after the case was settled in 2006. In renewing its request, the AP this year cited local court rules requiring they be unsealed unless Cosby could show just cause. Cosby’s lawyer argued the documents would cause him “terrible embarrassment” because they included references to his marriage, sex life and prescription drug use. However, the judge found it was in the public interest to compare Cosby’s testimony to the “public moralizing” he has done on issues including family life, education and crime.
The documents unsealed Monday include only small portions of Cosby’s September 2005 deposition testimony. The deposition has never been filed in court or made public. Constand’s lawyer, Dolores M. Troiani, accused Cosby’s lawyers of interfering to the point of nearly shutting down the deposition, a session the judge this week characterized as “vigorous verbal combat.”
The documents revealed Troiani’s attempts to question Cosby about his use of quaaludes and whether he obtained them to have sex with young women. He said he had and said he had given the drug to a 19-year-old woman in Las Vegas before they had sex. He also said he had given it to other people.
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