Released court document from a 2005 civil lawsuit against Bill Cosby have been a “devastating blow” to his reputation,” his lawyers argue. Cosby’s legal counsel filed papers Wednesday requesting that the documents released over the summer, be resealed.
The Associated Press requested the docs be publicized, which revealed that Cosby confessed to obtaining drugs and having sex with women in the ‘70s. However, the deposition confession was not an admission of guilt. As such, Cosby’s lawyers assert that the release was an infringement on his right to free speech.
Reports The New York Times:
In the filing, the lawyers argued that the judge had been wrong in July to release the documents, which included an acknowledgment, under questioning, by Mr. Cosby that in the 1970s he obtained quaaludes to give them to young women with whom he wanted to have sex. Mr. Cosby’s team is seeking to have the documents resealed.
Mr. Cosby’s lawyers had fought the release of the court records after The Associated Press requested that they be unsealed.
But Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of United States District Court decided that Mr. Cosby had less of a right to privacy because he had fashioned himself as a public moralist, who spoke out about issues like “child-rearing, family life, education and crime.”
“Moreover, it discourages positive social leadershi by nongovernmental, but influential citizens, which is a foundational component of our society.”
Cosby’s lawyer say the fact that he’s an opinionated public figure shouldn’t matter, using George Clooney and Ben Affleck as examples. Releasing excerpts of the deposition has “manifested itself in specific injuries, as various institutions and individuals moved quickly to distance themselves from defendant after the unsealing,” his lawyers wrote in the filing.
Andrea Constand filed and settled the civil lawsuit against Cosby a decade ago. Years later, several other women came forward accusing him of rape, and sexual assault. The bombshell accusations launched a firestorm that has left the 78-year-old a virtual recluse, despite no admission of wrong-doing.
Cosby has never been prosecuted for alleged sex crimes, though he could face various lawsuits.