Lawyer: Cosby using courts to bully accuser, witnesses

PHILADELPHIA — Bill Cosby is using secret court filings to try to bully and intimidate the accuser and other witnesses in his criminal sex-assault case, the woman’s lawyers charged in a new court filing.

Cosby filed a sealed lawsuit this month against accuser Andrea Constand the day before a key pretrial hearing in the criminal case. He said the Canadian massage therapist had violated the settlement of their confidential 2005 civil suit when she talked to police, who reopened the criminal case last year.

Cosby, 78, demanded that Constand repay the settlement money along with interest and damages. The amount of the 2006 settlement remains private.

The comedian and actor also sued Constand’s mother and lawyers, who were likewise bound by the confidential settlement. The Feb. 1 suit was filed a day before lawyers Dolores Troiani and Bebe Kivitz testified against Cosby in his bid to have the criminal charges thrown out.

“By repeated filings ‘under seal,’ Cosby has created a shadow court system, in which he is free to make any inconsistent and opposing allegations he chooses without the deterrent of public scrutiny,” Troiani wrote in a response filed late Monday to the lawsuit.

She asked a federal judge to void the confidentiality clause in the civil settlement because, she said, Cosby was abusing it.

“Cosby has used the agreement as a means to intimidate witnesses (and) to conduct a media blitz in an attempt to sway public opinion while silencing those most knowledgeable about his claims,” Troiani wrote. “Cosby’s abuses of the agreement merits its total abrogation.”

Cosby lawyer Monique Pressley declined to comment Tuesday on the bullying allegations. She said the defense would file a written response in court.

Cosby’s breach-of-contract lawsuit against Constand marks his latest effort to fight back against the dozens of accusations that he drugged and molested women.

He has deployed teams of lawyers across the country to defend lawsuits brought by accusers whose accounts were challenged; to countersue them for defamation; and to defend the felony case filed Dec. 30 over his 2004 encounter with Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home.

His wife, Camille, was forced to give a deposition Monday in a defamation case brought by seven women in Massachusetts. She has at times served as his business manager.

Cosby has been married for 52 years and has been an A-list celebrity for nearly as long. His eponymous sitcom, “The Cosby Show,” followed the humorous travails of family life and became the top-ranked show on television during its 1984-1992 run.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Chestnut mushrooms grow in a fruiting tent on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, at Black Forest Mushrooms in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Fungi town: Downtown Everett home to new indoor gourmet mushroom farm

Black Forest Mushrooms will grow up to 20,000 pounds of tasty mushrooms each month. Its storefront opens Saturday at 2110 Hewitt Ave.

Outside of Angel of the Winds Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Police arrest Angel of the Winds arena worker accused of stabbing boss

The man allegedly walked up to his employer and demanded a raise, before stabbing him in the stomach, witnesses said.

The town post office in Index, Washington on Wedesday, Nov. 29, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Index, smallest town in Snohomish County, is No. 1 in voter turnout

Index has beaten the Snohomish County ballot return rate in each of the last 10 years. Snohomish County leaders have a few theories as to why.

Founder and Executive Director Pa Ousman Joof, alongside Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell, right, prepares to cut the ribbon during the grand opening of the Washington West African Center on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Born out of struggle, West African Center flourishes in Lynnwood

African music filled the room Saturday at 19203 36th Ave. West, for the grand opening of the nonprofit’s new state headquarters.

An STI clinic opened Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Free STI clinic opens in Everett after 14-year hiatus — and as rates spike

The county-run facility will provide treatment and resources for prevention of sexually transmitted infections.

Graffiti covers the eastern side of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County Cascade Unit on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Again, Boys and Girls Club tagged with suspected gang signs in Everett

Residents on Cascade Drive say their neighborhood has been the scene of excessive graffiti and sometimes gunfire in the past year.

A suspected gas explosion on Wednesday destroyed a house in the 19700 block of 25TH DR SE in Bothell, Washington. (Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue)
After a newly bought Bothell house exploded, experts urge caution

The owners had closed on their purchase of the house just two days earlier. No one was hurt in the explosion.

A sign in front of the AquaSox front office references the upcoming Everett City Council vote on a sum of $1.1 million to give to outside contractors to help upgrade a new stadium on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett AquaSox stadium upgrade gets $1.1M green light from city

City officials want to keep the team in Everett. But will they play in a new stadium downtown in 2027? Or an updated Funko Field?

Snohomish County Councilmember Nate Nehring, left, speaks alongside Councilmember Jared Mead during the Building Bridges Summit on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, at Western Washington University Everett in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
County Council members launch bipartisan ‘Building Bridges’ nonprofit

Jared Mead, a Democrat, and Nate Nehring, a Republican, hosted an event attended by 100 people this week in Everett.

Assistant Superintendent Patty Dowd greets a family with their child’s laptop and other class materials outside Endeavour Elementary on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, two days after an overnight fire tore through the inside the school in Mukilteo, Washington. Classes will be held online until after winter break to give crews time to make repairs to the building. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Fire closes Endeavour Elementary in Mukilteo until 2024

Classes shifted to remote learning after a fire damaged the school Monday. Laptops were handed out Wednesday.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After 40 days retired, Everett ex-police chief hired to mayor’s office

Everett’s longtime police chief, Dan Templeman, retired Oct. 31. He’s set to start a new role as senior executive director Monday.

The Monroe Correctional Complex on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Unexpected’ deaths are up in Washington’s prisons

At least 29 people died unexpectedly in Washington’s state prisons from July 2022 to June 2023.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.