American entertainer Bill Cosby appears to have given an exclusive interview to a national US newspaper in exchange for the paper dropping an article detailing previously undisclosed sexual assault allegations.
Previously sealed court documents at the Federal District Court in Philadelphia Cosby acknowledged under oath in September 2005 that he had sought to block The National Enquirer from publishing an interview with Beth Ferrier, The New York Times reports.
Ferrier, a former model, had given an interview to The Enquirer in which she claimed that Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted her in the mid-1980s.
At the time, Cosby was also facing accusations of sexual molestation from Andrea Constand, a basketball staff member at Cosby’s former college Temple University, and the entertainer admitted under oath that he was concerned the publication of Ferrier’s claims would harm his case against Constand.
“I would give them an exclusive story, my words,” Cosby said in his testimony, continuing that in exchange The Enquirer, “would not print the story of — print Beth’s story”.
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 documents were unsealed after requests from journalists and were released earlier this week.
The court transcript records Cosby being asked: “Did you ever think that if Beth Ferrier’s story was printed in The National Enquirer, that that would make the public believe that maybe Andrea was also telling the truth?”
“Exactly,” the multi-millionaire TV star replied.
In the February 2005 interview that replaced Ferrier’s allegations, Mr Cosby is described as “furious” about Constand’s claims, adding: “Sometimes you try to help people and it backfires on you, and then they try to take advantage of you”.
“I am not going to give in to people who try to exploit me because of my celebrity status,” he said.
After the article was published, Constand sued Cosby and one of his lawyers Martin D. Singer, claiming the piece defamed her. The claims were later consolidated and settled out of court in 2006.
It is the latest revelation of a series that are bringing an undignified end to the career of one of America’s best loved stars.
In the past two weeks, more than a dozen women have come forward publicly to claim that Cosby sexually harassed, assaulted or raped them, sometimes drugging them.
Only two days ago a story emerged that alleged Cosby had “ratted out” his 23-year-old daughter’s drug problems in exchange for suppressing a story about him “swinging with Sammy Davis Jr. and some showgirls in Las Vegas.”
The allegations have all been consistently denied by the 77-year-old, but his planned comeback has unravelled with several concert venues cancelling his performances and NBC and Netflix terminating upcoming projects.Reuse content