Bill Cosby allegedly exchanged exclusive National Enquirer interview for dropping piece on further sexual assault claims

Previously sealed Philadelphia court documents record Cosby acknowledges his actions in his testimony under oath in September 2005

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The Independent Online

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”.

 

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.

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Bill Cosby attends a graduation ceremony at Temple University, where he is a trustee

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.