Bill Cosby is trying desperately to keep the details of a 2004 lawsuit brought against him under wraps, but this time the statute of limitations is working against him.
The comedy icon settled a suit with former basketball player Andrea Constand who, claims the The Hollywood Reporter, was “the first woman to publicly come forward with allegations that [Cosby] drugged and sexually assaulted her.”
The law in Pennsylvania, where the suit was filed, states that records can be unsealed after two years, and the Associated Press is now seeking to do just that.
Naturally, Cosby’s legal team is doing everything possible to make sure that what happened in Pennsylvania stays in Pennsylvania, writing that the release of the documents would create “a firestorm of publicity.”
“[U]nlike 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,” states the brief. “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.”
In case that tactic doesn't work, the sitcom star's lawyers also argued that he is not a public figure and that there’s “no legitimate public interest” in an old sex abuse lawsuit, and confidentiality should be maintained on materials described as posing a “real, specific threat of serious embarrassment.”
Pick a side, lawyers. Pick a side.
The Associated Press pretty much laughed in the face of Cosby's defense team, arguing to the court that he is, indeed, a public figure and that, given the barrage of women to make nearly identical allegations against the actor in recent months, the details of the suit are very relevant.
“Since the settlement in [the Constand case], numerous other women, each of whom has been publicly identified, have recently come forward, alleging that they too were victims of drugging and sexual assault by Cosby, a topic that has been the subject of far-reaching media coverage,” the AP’s brief reads. “In sum, no good cause exists to maintain the seal on any of the sealed documents.”
We'll know soon enough which way the court leans, but in the meantime, you better believe Mr. Cosby is paying his lawyers — and publicists — overtime to make this nightmare go away.
Need a refresher on what Cosby has been accused of by dozens of women? Wendy Williams has got you, below:
(Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)