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Cosby Wants to Attend Constand Deposition in Defamation Case


Image of Bill Cosby via Randy Miramontez/ShutterstockBill Cosby has a very simple defense strategy: try everything. In defending Pennsylvania’s sexual assault charges stemming from Cosby’s 2004 relationship with Andrea Constand, the comedian is attempting everything from sympathy to outrage, and employing everything from contract law to delay tactics to bolster his defense.  Cosby (who, according to recent information, is now blind and “living in his own personal hell”) has now filed a motion to allow his lawyers to attend the deposition of Andrea Constand in a completely different lawsuit.

Wait, what?

Here’s the timeline: in 2004, Andrea Constand accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her. The then District Attorney on the scene in Montgomery County was Bruce Castor. Castor evaluated the evidence available to him at the time, and decided not to prosecute Cosby—a decision that would come under serious scrutiny a decade later.   In 2005, without criminal charges pending against her alleged attacker, Andrea Constand filed a civil suit against Bill Cosby for that same sexual assault; the parties settled that lawsuit under confidential terms.

When scores of women began to come forward and accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault last year, Bruce Castor’s decision not to prosecute Cosby for the Constand assault was widely criticized. Castor defended his choice, explaining that Constand’s statements to police in 2005 differed from the allegations in her civil suit against Cosby. In other words, Castor (who, by that time, had been replaced by D.A. Kevin Steele who’d won on campaign platform of “Castor botched the Cosby case”), said that Constand wouldn’t have been a stellar witness back in 2004.

In October, 2015, Andrea Constand sued Bruce Castor for defamation for making statements that diminished her reputation and credibility.   That defamation case is proceeding through civil channels at the same time the criminal case against Cosby is working its way through the courts.  Cosby, although not a party to Constand v. Castor, is hoping to become a fly on the wall during Castor’s deposition of Andrea Constand. At that deposition, Ms. Constand is likely to give her account of the events of 2004, and if the Cosby lawyers are allowed to attend, they’ll certainly make some strategic use of the testimonial preview. Cosby’s motion to attend the Constand deposition is pending, as is Ms. Constand’s request that the deposition be rescheduled from August 4th to a later date.

Cosby’s attempt to intervene in Constand v. Castor is just the latest step in this ever-evolving saga. Recent developments also include Cosby firing his second lawyer in nine months, and the revelations that Mr. Cosby is suffering from a degenerative eye disease. Cosby’s criminal case will continue in early September in Montgomery County, PA, and will be sure to keep readers posted on the progression of these intertwined lawsuits.


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Elura is a columnist and trial analyst for Law & Crime. Elura is also a former civil prosecutor for NYC's Administration for Children's Services, the CEO of Lawyer Up, and the author of How To Talk To Your Lawyer and the Legalese-to-English series. Follow Elura on Twitter @elurananos