A key figure in the swirl of sexual assault allegations surrounding Bill Cosby has requested that more of comedian’s sealed remarks on the subject be made public.
Andrea Constand was a Temple University employee when she alleges she was drugged and raped by Cosby at his home in Cheltenham, Pa., in 2004. She filed a civil suit the next year; the suit ended with a confidential settlement agreement in 2006.
Earlier this week, however, parts of a deposition given by Cosby in the Constand case were unsealed by a U.S. district judge at the request of the Associated Press. Cosby’s comments therein — the comedian admitted to providing drugs to women with whom he intended to have sex — were damaging, resulting in what may be definitive condemnations in the media and even the removal of Cosby’s bust from a Disney theme park.
Now, Constand has asked the court to have “the entire deposition and settlement agreement released to the public” in her case, as a motion filed by her attorneys in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania stated. The reason: Constand says Cosby and his representatives have continually violated the settlement agreement’s confidentiality by maligning her in the press.
“But for Cosby’s repeated violations of the confidentially [sic] agreement and attempt to sway public opinion in his favor this motion would not have been necessary,” the motion read. “Defendant has opened the door to the relief sought by his continuing actions of those of his ‘camp.'”
Constand’s motion went into granular detail in dissecting comments Cosby and his representatives have made, offering multiple news articles about the Cosby case as exhibits.
One statement Constand’s motion referenced was published on Nov. 16 in the Week: “Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment.”
After Constand protested, a joint statement was issued: “The statement released by Mr. Cosby’s attorney … was not intended to refer in any way to Andrea Constand.”
Yet, according to the motion, the damage was done — and Cosby’s alleged campaign of defamation continued. Among the comments:
Cosby on Nov. 22: “A guy doesn’t have to answer to innuendos.”
Cosby’s attorney Patrick O’Connor on Dec. 7: “If this conduct is true, Bill Cosby has major issues … Bill’s got to live with that. But maybe, if he’s innocent and the relations were consensual — wow.”
On Dec. 14, Cosby’s wife Camille compared her husband’s predicament to Rolling Stone’s “discredited article” about a rape at the University of Virginia. (Constand’s attorneys included a Washington Post story by Camille Cosby breaks her silence, compares allegations against her husband to Rolling Stone’s campus rape story” as “Exhibit F.”)— “
The effect of such statements, according to Constand’s motion: “Cosby’s behaviors have caused plaintiff unwanted and overwhelming media attention, which has detrimentally affected her. … The public is left with the impression, as some commentators have opined, that the seminal question of [Cosby’s] admission as to administering quaaludes to sex partners was taken out of context.”
The motion also portrayed Constand — a former college basketball administrator and basketball player living in Toronto — as a woman next door fighting Cosby’s media machine.
“Defendant is a well known celebrity who employees numerous attorneys, publisits [sic], agents and other individuals capable of manipulating the media,” the motion read. “… Plaintiff is devoid of such resources and is incapable of policing defendant and his surrogates with the terms of the agreement.”
“She’s a person of integrity, and if there is a wrong, she’s going to stand up for it and do the right thing and be a leader,” Joan Bonvinci, who was her coach at the University of Arizona, told the AP.
Constand’s comments about the case to media and on social media have heretofore been quite limited. She tweeted “Yes” and “Sir” earlier this week after Cosby’s deposition was unsealed, as the Toronto Sun reported.
“I don’t want to talk about Cosby,” Constand, a massage therapist, told the Sun. “It doesn’t define me. … It’s in the past. I have a whole other life and I am happy.”
Constand’s motion also said release of the deposition might aid other women in their cases against Cosby.
“The release of these documents will assist other women who have been victimized and bring awareness to the fact that sexual assault is not just committed with a gun or knife but is also committed by mentors who engage in exploitative behaviors,” the motion read.