First her lawyers pushed back against Bill Cosby’s latest legal maneuver to stop the criminal charges that could see him behind bars for up to 10-years and now sexual assault accuser Andrea Constand herself is seeking to end the actor’s “bullying tactics” in the courts. On the same day that Camille Cosby sat for the first of what could be several depositions in another case against her much accused husband, the alleged 2004 victim of a drugging and rape by Cosby filed a motion in federal court on Monday to force the unsealing of The Cosby Show creator’s new complaint. Constand also seeks undermine the efforts by Cosby against her, her mother, her lawyers and the owners of the National Enquirer by having the courts void the much discussed confidentiality agreement that was struck in 2006 between the parties in a civil case.
“Cosby has used the agreement as a means to intimidate witnesses, to conduct a media blitz in an attempt to sway public opinion while silencing those most knowledgeable about his claims, and to engage in conduct evidenced by the Motion before the Court,” says the memorandum of law accompanying the February 22 motion from Constand’s attorneys Dolores Troiani and Bebe Kivitz (read it here).
On February 1, just before a hearing on the whether the Pennsylvania criminal case would go forward or not, Cosby filed an under seal jury seeking complaint against Constand and others claiming that there had been numerous “breaches of the 2006 Confidential Settlement Agreement.” As a February 17 redacted version of Cosby’s complaint revealed, those breaches included, in his lawyers opinion, Constand and others talking to the current Montgomery County, PA D.A.’s office in their “2015 re-investigation of Andrea Constand’s allegations against Mr. Cosby.”
While no details of the nearly decade old settlement were made public in even last week’s redacted version of Cosby’s latest complaint, the disgraced actor’s legal team claimed that he has “suffered serious and irreparable harm that cannot be cured by money damages and also has suffered substantial monetary damages, in an amount to be proven at trial.” Essentially, Cosby now wants back everything he paid out to Constand plus legal fees and more.
Saying she was well within her rights to speak to the D.A.’s office about the matter of her alleged 2004 assault by Cosby in his suburban Philadelphia mansion, Constand is blunt in calling out the actor’s motivations and seeking to turn the spotlight on what was actually agreed to back in 2006.
“Cosby seeks to create a shadow court system where he is free to make diametrically opposing assertions under the guise of confidentiality and motions to seal,” the 10-page filing adds, noting Constand’s cooperation with the now ongoing criminal charges case instigated against Cosby late last year. “Because he has money and power and celebrity status, Cosby is no less a citizen subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts. Neither Andrea Constand nor her mother, Gianna Constand possess any of those attributes. The only protection available to them is for the Court to shield them from the bullying tactics of Cosby.”
After failing to get the trio of criminal charges halted by claims that there was a binding no-prosecution agreement with the past and trying to move to a fast track appeal of the judge’s ruling in that matter, Cosby next has to appear in state court on March 8 in a preliminary hearing. The federal filing fits in with the offensive strategy Cobsy’s new lawyers have take in recent months against a variety of cases against him across the nation by some of the over 50 women who say they were drugged and assaulted by him over the years.
“It is patently obvious, that the suit was motivated by Cosby’s desire to intimidate the witnesses against him,” says Cosntand’s memo in this case. “This misuse of the agreement cannot be condoned by the Court and the only recourse available to the Constand Defendants at this stage of the proceedings is a finding that Cosby has forfeited any confidentiality conferred upon him by the agreement.”
No word on when a hearing in U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno’s courtroom on Constand or her lawyer’s motions could occur.
Samuel Silver and John Timmer of Philly firm Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP are representing Cosby in this case. Cosby’s main lawyer, Christopher Tayback of L.A.’s Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, officially was added to the case on February 12. Jeffrey McCarron of Swartz Campbell & Detweiler represents Troiani and Kivitz.