Bill Cosby is trying to exploit a legal loophole that would prevent the release of materials posing a ‘real, specific threat of serious embarrassment’.
The comedian has come under intense scrutiny, which gained significant traction in 2014 as more and more women started speaking out about the abuse they claimed to have suffered at his hands (you can read an in-depth look at the charges against him here).
The Hollywood Reporter notes that nine years ago, Cosby settled a lawsuit brought up by Andrea Constand, the first woman who came forward and spoke publicly about allegations of sexual assault.
With the case settled, certain motions that were brought up during the case were ‘sealed’, but an obscure rule allows the unsealing of such records after two years.
These motions allegedly refer to sexual misconduct allegations and issues relating to Cosby’s health, including his use of prescription drugs, information about his finances and insight into his personal relationships.
Amid the frenzy towards the end of last year, the Associated Press contacted the court asking for these sealed materials to be reviewed in light of the overwhelming number of charges since filed against Cosby. But Cosby’s attorney argues this would violate his client’s privacy.
Bill Cosby: Career in pictures
Bill Cosby: Career in pictures
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Winner of his first Emmy for 'I Spy' is Bill Cosby being congratulated by his wife Camille held at Americana Hotel, 1966
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Bill Cosby in 'I Spy', 1960s
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Bill Cosby in July 1973 in Perth
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Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor in 'California Suite', 1978
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Bill Cosby and Elmo in Sesame Street, 1989
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Bill Cosby poses for a picture with Florence Griffith-Joyner in June 1989
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Comedian Bill Cosby back in 1992
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A scene from a 1992 episode of 'The Cosby Show'
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US Monica Seles breaks into laughter as she jokes with comedian Bill Cosby during a celebrity match in the stadium at the US Open for the Arthur Ashe AIDS Challenge on 27 August 1995
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Bill Cosby meets Toronto Blue Jays' All-Star Joe Carter after the Stars played the Stripes in the Celebrity All-Star game which preceded workouts for the 67th All-Star Game at Veterans Stadium on 8 July 1996 in Philadephia
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Co-hosts Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby joke with each other during the opening of the 2000 Essence Awards 14 April 2000 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City
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Bill Cosby jokes with baseball great Hank Aaron after they both received the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award from U.S. President George W. Bush during a ceremony on 9 July 2002 at the White House in Washington
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Bill Cosby poses backstage after winning the 'Bob Hope Humanitarian Award' during the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on 21 September 2003 in Los Angeles
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'Tonight Show' host Jay Leno and comedian Bill Cosby laugh during a surprise visit by Cosby to sign a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that Leno is using to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina at NBC studios on 9 September 2005 in Burbank, California
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Bill Cosby speaks during a taping of 'Meet the Press' at the NBC studios on 14 October 2007 in Washington
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Bill Cosby at the 12th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the John F. Kennedy Center on 26 October 2009 in Washington
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Bill Cosby speaks at the National Action Network's 20th annual Keepers of the Dream Awards gala in New York on 6 April 2011
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Bill Cosby during the 100th anniversary celebration of the Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows supporting the Motion Picture & Television Fund and the American Comedy Fund, 2012
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Bill Cosby speaks onstage at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund 25th Awards Gala on 11 November 2013 in Washington
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Bill Cosby performs at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino on 26 September 2014 in Las Vegas
The brief states that Cosby’s testimony ‘delves into the most intimate subjects imaginable’ and ‘would generate a firestorm of publicity’.
On Wednesday, Cosby told a judge he’s not a public figure, therefore there’s no legitimate public interest in contents of the old lawsuit. The brief adds that “the relevant information is [not] important to public health or safety” and that Cosby’s status in the public eye “does not render him a public person within the meaning of the law”.
But in a separate brief, the Associated Press have argued that there is no support for the continued sealing of this document, and that the Court has already ruled Cosby’s ‘fear of embarrassment and humiliation is insufficient’ to support the re-sealing of the motions.
Enough damage has been done to his reputation at this point, they state, that “the possibility that the sealed material will do further material damage appears remote at best”.
Since the huge number of allegations, traces of Cosby have been wiped from the airwaves. In the US reruns of The Cosby Show were pulled, and NBC scrapped a sitcom that was being developed with Cosby.Reuse content