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Bill Cosby Fighting To Keep Phone Call with Victim’s Mother Out of Court


Image of Bill Cosby via Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock On Wednesday, Bill Cosby’s lawyers filed their latest motion in the criminal case where he’s alleged to have sexually assaulted Andrea Constand (officially, the charge is “aggravated indecent assault”): The actor/comedian is fighting to exclude the audio recording of a phone call between him and Constand’s mother, Gianna, which took place not long after the alleged assault.

The prosecution’s argument is, basically, that the recording is admissible because Gianna Constand legally recorded the call under Canadian law, since she was in Pickering, Ontario at the time. Cosby’s defense team, however, is arguing that since it originated from Cosby’s home in Pennsylvania, which requires “two party” consent and is being used in a criminal case in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania law should apply and thus the tape should be out.

Various published reports, including that of the Philadelphia Enquirer, have explained that the recording includes Cosby offering to pay for Andrea’s graduate school tuition and meet with the Constands. In a previous phone call, which was not recorded, Cosby apparently apologized, which he says was to “pacify” the mother and not an admission to a non-consensual sexual encounter.

Meanwhile, there’s a new wrinkle in Andrea Constand’s defamation suit against Bruce Castor, the former district attorney of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. On July 21st, Cosby filed a motion to intervene in the case, arguing that since he and Constand are under the terms of a confidential settlement agreement, his lawyer should be present at her deposition to make sure the deal isn’t breached.

On Thursday, Constand replied. She argues that “Cosby, who is presently under arrest and charged with assaulting plaintiff, has no right to disrupt this civil deposition through repeated objections or otherwise, nor does he have the right to obtain discovery for his criminal case that would otherwise be unavailable to him.” On top of that, she adds that while it’s being framed as an effort to protect Cosby’s privacy interests, “it is actually a continuation of his campaign to harass and intimidate the victim of the crime which he has been accused.”

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David Bixenspan is a writer, editor, and podcaster based in New York.