APNewsBreak: Cosby said he got drugs to give women for sex
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Bill Cosby admitted in 2005 that he got quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with, and that he gave the sedative to at least one woman and "other people," according to documents obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
Cosby's lawyers insisted that two of his accusers knew they were taking quaaludes from the comedian, according to the unsealed documents.
Nevertheless, attorneys for some of the numerous women suing Cosby seized on the testimony as powerful corroboration of what they have been saying all along: that he drugged and raped them.
The AP had gone to court to force the release of a deposition in a sexual abuse case filed by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand - the first in a cascade of lawsuits against Cosby that have severely damaged his good-guy image. Cosby settled Constand's lawsuit under confidential terms in 2006.
Women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault:
Cosby's side had fought the release of the material, arguing it would embarrass him. Ultimately, a judge unsealed just small portions of his testimony.
The comedian's lawyers in the Philadelphia case did not immediately return calls Monday. Constand agreed to the use of her name but did not want to comment, her attorney said.
"This evidence shows a pattern in which defendant `mentored' naive young women and introduced drugs into the relationship, with and without the woman's knowledge, in order for him to achieve sexual satisfaction," Constand's lawyer, Dolores M. Troiani, argued in court papers.
Cosby, 77, has been accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct in episodes dating back more than four decades. He has never been charged with a crime, and the statute of limitations on most of the accusations has expired.
"If today's report is true, Mr. Cosby admitted under oath 10 years ago sedating women for sexual purposes," said Lisa Bloom, attorney for model Janice Dickinson, who claims she was drugged and raped. "Given that, how dare he publicly vilify Ms. Dickinson and accuse her of lying when she tells a very similar story?
Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing several women, said she hopes to use the admission in court cases against the comic.
Constand accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her at his home in Pennsylvania in 2004. In his sworn testimony, Cosby said he obtained seven quaalude prescriptions in the 1970s. Constand's lawyer asked if he had kept the sedatives through the 1990s - after they were banned - but was blocked by objections from Cosby's attorney.
"When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?" Troiani asked.
"Yes," Cosby answered.
"Did you ever give any of these young women the quaaludes without their knowledge?"
Cosby's lawyer again objected, leading Troiani to petition the federal judge to force Cosby to cooperate.
Cosby later said he gave Constand three half-pills of the cold and allergy medicine Benadryl, although Troiani in the documents expressed doubt that was the drug involved.
The comic's lawyer, George M. Gowen III, had argued that unsealing the testimony could reveal details of Cosby's marriage, sex life and prescription drug use and would be "terribly embarrassing." He also said the material would damage Cosby among potential jurors in Massachusetts, where Cosby is fighting defamation lawsuits brought by women who say they were branded liars by his representatives.
U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno had temporarily sealed some documents in the Constand lawsuit but never ruled on a final seal before the case was settled.
Under federal court rules in Pennsylvania, documents must be unsealed after two years unless a party can show specific harm. Robreno ruled that Cosby's potential embarrassment was insufficient.
Robreno asked last month why Cosby was fighting the release of his testimony, given that Constand's accusations were already public. "Why would he be embarrassed by his own version of the facts?" Robreno said.
In court last month, Gayle Sproul, a lawyer representing the AP, called the married Cosby "an icon" who "held himself out as someone who would guide the public in ways of morality."
Troiani painted a starkly different picture.
Cosby "has evidenced a predilection for sexual contact with women who are unconscious or drugged. His victims are young, `star struck' and totally trusting of his public persona," Troiani argued.
This story has been corrected to show that Cosby's lawyers, not his accusers, say two women knowingly took Quaaludes from him, and to show that the alleged assault against Constand took place in 2004, not 2005.