Embattled comedian Bill Cosby is trying to keep what his attorney calls “terribly embarrassing” court documents from ten years ago sealed.
According the Associated Press, the documents pertain to 2005 sexual assault allegations made by a former employee of Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University. In what has now become a familiar claim, the accuser says Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in his home. Cosby and the woman reached a settlement out of court.
Although Cosby has never been charged with a crime and has denied allegations made against him, he has been hit with a barrage of new and revived accusations since last fall. More than thirty women, including ex-supermodels Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson, have accused the comedian of either drugging and or sexually assaulting them over the last several decades.
Cosby resigned from the Temple University board of trustees in December 2014 amid the controversy.
His attorney George M. Gowen III has objected to attempts by the AP to unearth his deposition because they would reveal intimate details of his marriage, sex life and prescription drug use. “Frankly … it would embarrass him, (and) it would also prejudice him in eyes of the jury pool in Massachusetts,” Gowen said.
Cosby currently faces a defamation lawsuit in the state filed by three women who argue that the 77-year-old has impugned their character by saying through his surrogates that their allegations are untrue.
“Why would he be embarrassed by his own version of the facts?” U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno asked rhetorically in an interview with the AP on Friday. “Every case about sex and drugs involves a certain amount of embarrassment.”
In May, Dickinson filed her own defamation suit against Cosby. “Janice Dickinson, like over three dozen other Cosby victims, recently publicly disclosed that she was drugged and raped by Bill Cosby,” Dickinson’s attorneys wrote in the complaint. “In retaliation, Cosby, through an attorney, publicly branded her a liar and called her rape disclosure a lie with the intent and effect of revictimizing her and destroying the professional reputation she’s spent decades building.”
Cosby’s lawyers have not responded to the Dickinson lawsuit. However, Cosby’s attorney Marty Singer issued a widely distributed statement last November refuting Dickinson’s allegations. “There is a glaring contradiction between what she is claiming now for the first time and what she wrote in her own book and what she told the media back in 2002,” Singer said. “The only story she gave 12 years ago to the media and in her autobiography was that she refused to sleep with Mr. Cosby and he blew her off.”
“Documentary proof and Ms. Dickinson’s own words show that her new story about something she now claims happened back in 1982 is a fabricated lie,” he added at the time.
Cosby himself has only made passing reference to the allegations swirling around him. In a “Good Morning America” interview last month he said, “I have been in this business 52 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.” He added, ”Reality is the situation and I can’t speak.”