Cosby lawyers defend his use of a 'highly popular' drug for sex in the '70s

Bill-CosbyAP ImagesBill Cosby

Bill Cosby is still charging ahead in his attempt to salvage a reputation that was again tarnished after The New York Times published quotes from a years-old deposition he gave as part of a 2005 lawsuit.

His lawyers have filed an extensive motion in that lawsuit that claims he’s a victim of a smear campaign and pointing out that he’s never admitted to having non-consensual sex with women or slipping them drugs without their knowledge.

In a transcript of Cosby’s 2005 deposition, which was part of a lawsuit from a woman who accused him of drugging and molesting her, Cosby did admit to obtaining Quaaludes, a sedative, to use on young women he wanted to have sex with.

The lawsuit was settled and the deposition transcript sealed for 10 years until earlier this month when a federal judge released excerpts from it, according to Reuters. The unsealed testimony comes after dozens of women have come forward in recent months to accuse Cosby of sexual abuse.

The Times obtained a copy of the full deposition and posted additional excerpts online, and now Cosby has filed court papers saying his accuser, Andrea Constand, breached a confidentiality agreement. The Times, however, noted in its story that it obtained the deposition through a court reporting service.

Cosby’s legal team is arguing that Constand had a “contractual obligation” to prevent the court reporting service from turning the transcript over to the media.

The filing paints Cosby as the victim of a smear campaign and accuses news outlets of misrepresenting his testimony and leading people to believe that he admitted to drugging and sexually assaulting women. Cosby maintains the sexual encounters were consensual, and he has not been charged with a crime.

We reached out for an attorney for Constand and a spokesman for Bill Cosby, and we will update this post with any comments we receive.

Here’s how Cosby’s legal team is defending him in the court documents:

  • “Quaaludes were a highly popular recreational drug in the 1970’s, labelled in slang as ‘disco biscuits,’ and known for their capacity to increase sexual arousal. There are countless tales of celebrities, music stars, and wealthy socialites in the 1970’s willingly using Quaaludes for recreational purposes and during consensual sex.”
  • “Plaintiff’s insistent contention that Defendant somehow controls and manipulates the media is thoroughly belied by the tidal wave of inaccurate media reports about Defendant. The media has created the embarrassing, erroneous public impression that Defendant feared, and that he knew he would be powerless to prevent.”
  • “Throughout this case, Plaintiff made no secret of her desire to publicize it, and she fought mightily, every chance she got, to achieve that publicity. Defendant settled — and paid Plaintiff — to avoid that very publicity, and Plaintiff reluctantly agreed to the confidentiality terms.”
  • “Defendant admitted to nothing more than being one of the many people who introduced Quaaludes into their consensual sex life in the 1970’s.”
  • “Emboldened by the media’s one-sided reporting, Plaintiff 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.”
Bill CosbyAPIn this Aug. 1, 1987 photo, Andrea Constand poses for a photo in Toronto. In testimony unsealed Monday, July 6, 2015, by a federal judge, Bill Cosby admitted giving at least one woman quaaludes before sex.

Cosby’s team might seek to recover the money paid to Constand in the settlement.

In his deposition, Cosby at times appeared confident about his encounter with Constand, calling himself a “decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things.” He described how he walked Constand out after the encounter, having not perceived it as anything less than consensual: “She does not look angry. She does not say to me don’t ever do that again. She does not walk out with an attitude of a huff.”

Cosby allegedly used similar methods with some of the women, many of whom worked in, or aspired to work in show business. At least eight different actresses and several other women who met Cosby over a period spanning decades have accused Cosby of sexual impropriety. Many of these women have said that Cosby initially presented himself as a potential career mentor to them.

The comedian, who has been married since 1964, testified he persistently engaged with the women he pursued, often inviting them to dinners alone and meeting up for “rendezvous,” as he put it, which allegedly ended with many of the women being drugged and left in various states of undress.

What The Times calls a “calculated pursuit” of women conflicts with the persona on which Bill Cosby has built a lifelong career — that of a wholesome father figure, once immortalised in the character he played on his eponymous sitcom in the 1980s.

Bryan Logan contributed to this report.

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