Bill Cosby’s Lawyers Claim Accuser Violated Confidential Settlement Agreement

Bill Cosby-Andrea Constand Legal Dispute: Cosby's
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Attorneys for Bill Cosby say a magistrate judge should resolve their claim that a woman who once accused the entertainer of sexual assault breached a 2006 confidential settlement agreement.

In a filing in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on Thursday, the attorneys say Andrea Constand, who is accusing Cosby of sexual assault, and her attorneys failed to prevent their court reporter from releasing Cosby’s deposition in the case. The New York Times and the Associated Press obtained the deposition over the weekend, in which Cosby describes extramarital encounters.

His legal team has pushed back against some of the reporting on the case, noting that even though Cosby admitted that he got Quaaludes to give to some women before sexual encounters, he did not confess to doing so without their consent.

One of Cosby’s attorneys, Patrick O’Connor, wrote in a court brief that “far from using their ‘best efforts’ to ensure compliance with the confidentiality provisions, plaintiff and her counsel appear to have made no effort whatsoever.” Although Cosby’s attorneys have said that Constand should be sanctioned, they did not do so in their latest motion, which argues that Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter should resolve the dispute.

His attorneys also are asking that the court reject Constand’s request to unseal the settlement agreement.

Cosby’s legal team also contends that Constand has violated a provision restricting comments on the litigation. Constand entered into the settlement agreement in 2006 after filing a civil suit against Cosby a year earlier.

In a letter to another of Cosby’s attorneys, Constand’s attorney Dolores Troiani wrote that they had nothing to do with the release of the deposition, and that the court reporter, George Wolfe, relied upon his belief that it was a public record that had been unsealed by the court. She cited Judge Eduardo Robreno’s opinion, issued earlier this month when he unsealed documents that included excerpts of the deposition, that Cosby had diminished his right to privacy by joining the debate about the merits of the allegations against him.

Constand’s legal team has accused Cosby and his representatives of violating the confidentiality agreement, including a statement in which they claimed that allegations of his accusers had been “discredited.” They are seeking injunctive relief and other sanctions.

Troiani wrote that they do not object to the release of Constand’s deposition.

Troiani wrote in her letter that “we could spend the next ten years pointing fingers at one another.” She also said they “are open to a civil and courteous discussion about amending the settlement agreement in light of recent events.”

More than two dozen women have accused Cosby. He has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime.