Cosby lawyers blame his accuser for release of his deposition by court reporting service

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Lawyers for Bill Cosby argued in a motion (PDF) on Tuesday that his accuser in a 2005 sex-abuse suit was trying to “smear” him and should have ensured that court reporters knew his deposition transcript was still confidential.

The New York Times obtained the deposition transcript from a court reporting service and summarized the contents in a story that asserted the deposition was never sealed. But lawyers for Cosby say the court reporting service, Kaplan Leaman & Wolfe, should not have released the document under terms of the suit’s settlement, report the Legal Intelligencer, the New York Times, the Guardian and Time magazine.

The filing by lawyers at Cozen O’Connor says Cosby’s accuser in the suit, a Temple University employee, should be sanctioned partly for release of the deposition transcript to the media through her “own hired court reporter … without a word to the defendant.” The motion does not include specifics on sanctions sought and says relief will be sought separately.

The woman’s lawyer, Dolores Troiani, maintains she and her client had nothing to do with the release of the deposition.

The court reporting service said in a letter to the court that it believed U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno of Philadelphia had allowed release of the deposition when he ordered the release of a legal memorandum that included excerpts from the deposition. Robreno, ruling on a request by the Associated Press, said Cosby had narrowed the zone of privacy that protected him because of his posture as a public moralist.

According to the Times account of the deposition, Cosby denied assaulting women, but did say he had secured Quaaludes with the intention of giving them to women with whom he hoped to have sex. Cosby denied giving Quaaludes to the plaintiff in the 2005 suit and said the women who did get the drugs knew what they were taking.

The filing on Tuesday by Cosby’s lawyers said that, in the deposition, Cosby “admitted to nothing more than being one of the many people who introduced Quaaludes into their consensual sex life in the 1970s.”

“There are countless tales of celebrities, music stars, and wealthy socialites in the 1970s willingly using Quaaludes for recreational purposes and during consensual sex,” the motion said. Yet some of the media reports wrongly suggested Cosby had admitted to rape, according to Cosby’s motion.

The filing by Cosby’s lawyers opposed a motion by Cosby’s accuser, filed after Robreno’s decision, that sought to negate the confidentiality portions of the settlement agreement. Cosby’s lawyers argue the plaintiff’s motion itself violated terms of the agreement when she didn’t follow an agreed-upon private dispute procedure.

The motion by Cosby’s lawyers says the plaintiff is seeking partial cancellation of the settlement deal because “obviously, she wants to keep what she was paid.” The motion states that Cosby relied on confidentiality provisions in entering the settlement, while the heart of the accuser’s bargain was “the receipt of money, which she still has.”

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