Attorneys for Bill Cosby say that media reporting on sexual assault allegations against him has been “inaccurate,” and that even though the entertainer admitted purchasing drugs he gave to women, he did not confess to doing so without their consent.
In a filing in federal court in Philadelphia on Tuesday, the attorneys also asked a federal judge not to unseal a 2006 confidential settlement agreement between the entertainer and Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee who claimed Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her.
Portions of a deposition were unsealed earlier this month, eliciting a barrage of media attention over Cosby’s admission that he got Quaaludes to give to some women before sexual encounters. Over the weekend, the New York Times obtained the complete deposition in the case from a court reporter, in which Cosby described in greater detail the extramarital encounters.
But Cosby’s attorneys, Patrick O’Connor and George Gowen, said that the deposition excerpts did not contain any testimony that Cosby engaged in non-consensual sex or that he gave Quaaludes to women without knowledge or consent.
“Indeed, Quaaludes were a highly popular recreational drug in the 1970s, labeled in slang as ‘disco biscuits,’ and known for their capacity to increase sexual arousal,” they wrote. “There are countless tales of celebrities, music stars, and wealthy socialites in the 1970s willingly using Quaaludes for recreational purposes and during consensual sex.
“Yet, upon the unsealing of these excerpt, the media immediately pounced, inaccurately labeling the release testimony as [Cosby’s] ‘confession’ of ‘drugging’ women and assaulting them. Reading the media accounts, one would conclude that Defendant has admitted to rape. And yet Defendant admitted to nothing more than being one of the many people who introduced Quaaludes into their consensual sex life in the 1970s.”
In the deposition, Cosby said that the only drug he gave Constand was Benadryl.
Cosby said that he did not drink alcohol or take drugs during the encounters, according to the Associated Press, which also obtained the deposition.
The attorneys also say that they plan to seek sanctions against Constand, saying that it was her legal team’s own hired court reporter who released the entire 1,000 page deposition to the media. “This occurred despite Plaintiff’s contractual obligation to prevent it,” they wrote.
More than two dozen women have accused Cosby of sexual assault. He has disputed reports, and has not been charged with a crime. Two of the women have filed civil claims.
Cosby’s attorneys say that the media, “armed with only one side of the story,” “cavalierly misinterpreted” his testimony.
“Emboldened by the media’s one-sided reporting, [Constand] has now filed a motion that is a barely veiled attempt to continue her and her counsel’s campaign against him in the public eye, despite having settled her actual claim against him and having agreed to say no more,” the attorneys write.