Judge Grants Bill Cosby Accusers Access to Andrea Constand’s Case File

Bill Cosby Sexual Assult
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

A judge says that attorneys for seven women who are suing Bill Cosby for defamation should get some access to the case file of the lawyer for Andrea Constand, even though she settled in a confidential agreement with the entertainer in 2006.

U.S. District Judge Anita Brody wrote that “an agreement between two parties to keep materials confidential cannot block the disclosure of those materials to third parties in discovery.”

The seven women — Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie — have accused Cosby of sexual assault in a defamation lawsuit filed in Massachusetts in 2014.

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As part of discovery for their litigation, they subpoenaed the case file for Dolores Troiani, the attorney who represented Constand, a Temple University employee who sued Cosby in 2005, alleging sexual assault and other claims. The next year, Constand reached a confidential settlement agreement with Cosby.

The seven women are seeking the file as they gather evidence to try to prove that their accusations are true. Cosby’s attorneys have made a defamation counter-claim, contending that the women’s accusations tarnished his “honorable legacy and reputation” by “willfully, maliciously and falsely accusing Mr. Cosby of multi-decade-old purported sexual misconduct.”

Troiani did not object to the subpoena.

But Cosby’s attorneys sought to quash it, arguing that there was no “compelling justification” requiring disclosure of “these confidential materials.” They also argued that not everything in the case file was relevant to the plaintiff’s action, and that production of the file would “subject a person to undue burden.”

Brody, however, noted that the seven women suing Cosby “never agreed to the confidentiality of these materials.”

“The public reaps no benefit by allowing settlement agreements to suppress evidence,” she wrote.

Brody limited the release of the case file to materials pertaining to the seven women plaintiffs and other witnesses. She granted Cosby’s motion to prevent the release of “any other subject matter.”

Cosby also is facing criminal charges stemming from the Constand case, after a Pennsylvania prosecutor filed charges in December. A preliminary hearing has been put on hold as Cosby’s attorneys pursue an appeal to have the case dismissed.

Brody rejected his attorneys’ argument that disclosure of the case file would “assist the prosecution and impair his ability to get an impartial jury” in the criminal case because the Montgomery County, Pa., district attorney already has a copy of the file.

She did grant American Media Inc.’s motion to redact information in the case file that pertains to a settlement amount that the National Enquirer paid to Constand. The Enquirer was also named in Constand’s civil litigation over a story published at the time.

Brody also granted Cosby’s motion to quash the subpoena to disclose the confidential settlement agreement itself.

The judge said she would appoint a special master to review the materials.

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  1. Kathy Darrow says:

    The access to the file is limited to information pertaining to the any of the plaintiffs themselves and other witnesses. Only a few of the Jane Doe witnesses were actually deposed. These plaintiffs intend to rely on the testimony of other accusers to prove THEIR claims of assault. Where is their proof? They claim to be eager to move forward, yet they have failed to supply even the most basic answers to basic questions, such as the basis for their allegations and dates/timeframes of their alleged assaults. Their case amounts to mere accusations and a bunch of me-too stories. And calling these stories absurd and fantastical is the basis for a defamation case? It should have been thrown out last year, but the judge is too afraid of the public square mob to do his job.

  2. cross says:

    WOW, is an understatement! most of the “rapes” were not rapes at all, 11 women have been proven to be liars, and and the other 49 said that they were not raped but kissed or touched inappropriately… but somehow these feminist are trying to convince us that it amounts to rape! now this! they are now able to circumvent the law to promote a feminist agenda! furthermore, why is no one talking about the ones already caught in the a lie?

  3. sdk says:

    Bad boy bill Cosby !!!!¡!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Funk Da Fied says:

    What is there in this file that these 7 pressed women hope to find to prove up their case based on LIES…If there were any truth to their allegations then they should have spent their time an energy seeking criminal charges instead of trying to obtain a financial gain through civil process. This demonstrates that it is not about being a victim of a crime, it is about trying to exact revenge and obtain a monetary settlement from Cosby…Certainly if any of them had been a victim to a sexual assault, they would be trying to obtain a criminal penalty instead of money….They all are 7 proven LIARS…will say just about anything to get a dollar…they would probably make up a lie on the Pope…

  5. There is no justice says:

    Wow, just wow.
    I have lost all and I mean ALL respect for the legal system, they are literally changing and circumventing laws in the Bill Cosby case. I am speechless, I have no faith whatsoever in the US justice system to say that I am disappointed is a massive understatement, my views on this country are starting to change, can’t believe what I am reading.
    What happened to burden if proof, the sanctity of sealed documents and confidentiality agreements.

  6. Bill B. says:

    What’s he so worried about if he didn’t do anything wrong?!

    • Funk Da Fied says:

      If there were any truth to the allegations then they should have spent their time and energy seeking criminal charges instead of trying to obtain a financial gain through civil process. This demonstrates that it is not about being a victim of a crime, it is about trying to exact revenge and obtain a monetary settlement from Cosby…

      • wwdamron1 says:

        No,
        Cosby is counter suing.
        Perhaps the jury will believe the Rapist Beast ?
        And this monster could win millions in damages from the plaintiffs?
        If COSBY is innocent then he will prevail as he should.
        If he is GUILTY then he should have all his money taken away and while he is in prison enjoying rape with MEN, Cammille can move into the PROJECTS !

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