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Bill Cosby appeals unsealed deposition ruling

2015-07-28 10:49

Philadelphia — Bill Cosby's lawyers on Monday appealed a judge's decision to unseal court filings that quote him saying he obtained quaaludes to give women before sexual encounters.

The newly public court filings contain excerpts of Cosby's deposition in a 2005 lawsuit in Pennsylvania that accused him of sexual battery, and were unsealed 6 July on a bid by The Associated Press.

The full deposition has since been released by a court reporting service and contains Cosby's only testimony under oath about accusations he sexually assaulted a string of women, including the plaintiff, former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.

Cosby acknowledges several of the encounters but said they were consensual. More than two dozen women have accused him of molesting them, sometimes after they had been drugged. Two lawsuits are pending, a defamation suit in Massachusetts and a civil sexual-assault case in California.

Cosby has been unsuccessful in his efforts to avoid a deposition in the latter case by having the suit, filed by lawyer Gloria Alred, thrown out.

Cosby's lawyers did not immediately return calls for comment Monday from the AP. They have not yet outlined the reasons for their appeal — and many of the deposition excerpts have been widely distributed since their July 6 release.

U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno unsealed 16 court filings after concluding that the "stark contrast between Bill Cosby, the public moralist and Bill Cosby, the subject of serious allegations concerning improper (and perhaps criminal) conduct" was a matter of public interest.

Cosby, in his deposition, testified that he had a consensual relationship with Constand, and said the pills he gave her in early 2004 were Benadryl. She believed she was drugged with something stronger and then sexually assaulted at his home while she was only semi-conscious.

The parties came to a confidential settlement after Cosby finished his deposition in 2006. Both sides have since accused the other of violating the agreement through press statements, and Constand's lawyer wants the confidentiality clause lifted.

New York Magazine featured 35 Bill Cosby accusers on their cover this week.

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