As the story of the world’s most famous and trusted dad of television unfolds into a gruesomely dark nightmare of decades past; a fascination grows in the shadows of our minds of how we were all taken by a lovable, funny, adorable man with a deep dark compulsion to commit the most horrendous crime against women behind the scenes of what we believed to be a perfect life on and off the stage. Married 50 years to a wonderful woman with beautiful children; Bill Cosby’s true life story is surpassing the best of episodes ever seen in Criminal Minds, ID TV investigations, or any true-life or fantasy movie ever made on the subject.
Most of us cannot wrap our minds around the sinister details revealed by woman after woman coming forward to tell the story of a man who must now be considered nothing less than the most prolific serial rapist in American history; and though there is a want of denial and deep sadness because we all knew, loved, and respected him, the reality of what he did and who he really is brings with it a sickening sense of fascination none of us can ignore.
Many of our most famous serial criminals were charming, sweet, next-door-neighborly people who led surprisingly normal and unsuspecting lives; but none were so famous and so loved and so trusted as the Jello Pudding Pop man who entered all our homes, most every night, one way or another, for decades. It makes us all feel like victims.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — 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 reading 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.
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.
His lawyers in the Philadelphia case did not immediately return messages Monday.
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 numerous women suing Cosby seized on the testimony as powerful corroboration of what they have been saying all along.
“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 accuser Therese Serignese, the woman 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.
“When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?” lawyer Dolores M. Troiani asked.
“Yes,” Cosby answered.
“Did you ever give any of these young women the quaaludes without their knowledge?”
Cosby’s lawyer again objected, leading Troiani to petition the federal judge to force Cosby to cooperate.
Cosby later said he gave Constand, who was about 30 and had gone to Cosby for career advice, three half-pills of Benadryl, though Troiani in the documents voices doubt that was the drug involved. Constand thought he was giving her an herbal remedy for stress, she said in her lawsuit. She recalls having him touch her breasts and put her hand on his penis, and woke up to find her clothes askew, according to her lawsuit. Cosby called any sexual contact consensual, according to Troiani’s summary of his deposition testimony.
Cosby had fought the AP’s efforts to unseal the testimony, with his lawyer arguing that the deposition could reveal details of Cosby’s marriage, sex life and prescription drug use.
“It would be terribly embarrassing for this material to come out,” lawyer George M. Gowen III argued in June. He also said the material would “prejudice him in eyes of the jury pool in Massachusetts,” where Cosby is trying to have the defamation lawsuit dismissed before discovery.
The judge had temporarily sealed some documents in the Constand lawsuit but never ruled on a final seal before the case was settled. Under federal court rules in Pennsylvania, documents must be unsealed after two years unless a party can show specific harm. Robreno ruled that Cosby’s potential embarrassment was insufficient.
Robreno asked last month why Cosby was fighting the release of his sworn testimony, given that the accusations in the Constand lawsuit already were public. “Why would he be embarrassed by his own version of the facts?” Robreno said.
Cosby resigned in December from the board of trustees at Temple, where he was the popular face of the Philadelphia school in advertisements, fundraising campaigns and commencement speeches.
Lawyer Gayle Sproul, representing the AP, in court last month called the married Cosby “an icon” who “held himself out as someone who would guide the public in ways of morality.”
Troiani, summarizing her evidence, painted a starkly different picture.
Cosby “has evidenced a predilection for sexual contact with women who are unconscious or drugged. His victims are young, ‘star struck’ and totally trusting of his public persona,” Troiani argued.