Bill Cosby fights to keep old court records on sexual abuse from being released


Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby is trying to keep court records relating to an old sexual abuse lawsuit sealed. The 77-year-old comedian told a Pennsylvania judge on Wednesday, June 24 that he?s not a public figure and there was ?no legitimate public interest? in the sex abuse suit brought by Andrea Constand in 2006.

Bill said confidentiality must be maintained on the court records described as posing a ?real, specific threat of serious embarrassment.? The court records not only include details about the sexual abuse allegations but also issues relating to the comedian?s health, use of prescription drugs, financial affairs and personal relationships.

Bill?s lawyer George Gowen argued in court that there was no public right to access discovery motions and his client?s privacy would be hurt by the unsealing.

?Moreover, unlike a deposition in a typical case, there is a voracious media appetite for Defendant?s deposition, and public release of it would quickly become widespread public knowledge of it,? the comedian?s brief, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, stated. ?There is no doubt that public disclosure of the motions and Defendant?s sworn deposition testimony, which delves into the most intimate subjects imaginable, would generate a firestorm of publicity.?

Bill argued in his brief that he ?is not a public official, nor is the relevant information important to public health or safety. ? Defendant?s status as a well-known comedian and entertainer does not render him a ?public? person within the meaning of the law.?

George later argued that the unsealing would undermine the settlement with Andrea and interfere with a defamation suit filed in Massachusetts by his three accusers Tamara Green, Therese Serignese and Linda Traitz. He also slammed reporter, saying, ?The media has had no apparent difficulty flooding the airwaves and press with reports on this story, even without access to the discovery materials. Nor is there any credible argument that public knowledge of the details of those motions will serve some public purpose.?

The Associated Press, which sent a letter to the court in December requesting a review of Bill?s court records after a dozen of women came forward with their allegations against Bill, argued otherwise in its own brief. ?The defendant is the only party who objects to unsealing the record,? AP?s brief read. ?However, now that the circumstances that he relied upon to gain preliminary sealing in this matter are nothing more than historic references, bypassed by recent public events, the files at issue should be unsealed.?

The wire service asked the judge to consider that Andrea was not objecting and the ?Jane Doe? accusers in the 2006 suit have gone public, so there?s no longer a jury pool to be tainted and ?the Court has already ruled, in accordance with firmly established precedent, that defendant?s fear of embarrassment and humiliation is insufficient to support a finding of good cause.?

AP added that the star of ?The Bill Cosby Show? was ?unquestionably a public figure? and his conduct was ?a legitimate matter for public scrutiny.?


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