Philadelphia— Bill Cosby's admission that he obtained quaaludes to give young women before sex could bolster criminal and civil claims being pursued by his accusers, their lawyers said after The Associated Press reported on newly released court documents.
Cosby in sworn testimony unsealed Monday admitted that he gave the now-banned sedative to a 19-year-old woman before they had sex in Las Vegas in the 1970s. He also admitted giving the powerful drug to unnamed others.
His lawyer interfered before he could answer deposition questions in 2005 about how many women were given drugs and whether they knew about it.
"So this confirms the suspicions, and also the allegations, of many other women who allege that they are victims of Bill Cosby, and who have suspected that he used a drug — quaaludes or perhaps some other drug — in order to take advantage of them," said lawyer Gloria Allred, commenting on her understanding of the court documents.
She represents several Cosby accusers, including a woman who said Cosby molested her at the Playboy Mansion when she was 15.
Allred has been pursuing potential criminal charges in California on that woman's behalf, while Cosby's lawyers have been fighting the effort, she said.
The AP had gone to court to compel the release of a deposition in a 2005 sexual abuse lawsuit filed by former Temple University basketball team employee Andrea Constand — the first of a cascade of lawsuits against Cosby that have severely damaged his image as doting TV dad Dr. Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show."
His lawyers objected to the release of the material, arguing it would embarrass him. Ultimately, a judge seized on Cosby's public moralizing as he unsealed portions of the deposition.
"The stark contrast between Bill Cosby, the public moralist and Bill Cosby, the subject of serious allegations concerning improper (and perhaps criminal) conduct, is a matter as to which the AP — and by extension the public — has a significant interest," U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno wrote.
TV network pulls show
Cosby, 77, has been accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct 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.
Cosby's lawyers in the Philadelphia case haven't returned messages seeking comment.
The Bounce TV network, which is geared toward black viewers, said Tuesday that it was pulling its reruns of the 1990s-era CBS sitcom Cosby from the air immediately.
Cosby's lawyers insisted during the deposition that two of his accusers knew they were taking quaaludes from him, according to the documents.
Nevertheless, attorneys for some of the women suing Cosby seized on the testimony as powerful corroboration of their accusations.
"The women have been saying they've been drugged and abused, and these documents appear to support the allegations," said lawyer Joe Cammarata, who represents Therese Serignese, who met Cosby in Las Vegas and said she was sexually assaulted backstage. She is one of three women now suing him for defamation.
Cosby, giving sworn testimony in the lawsuit accusing him of sexually assaulting Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004, said he had 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 frustrated by objections from Cosby's attorney.
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