He was not above seducing a young model by showing interest in her father’s cancer. He promised other women his mentorship and career advice before pushing them for sex acts. And he tried to use financial sleight of hand to keep his wife from finding out about his serial philandering.
Bill Cosby admitted to all of this and more over four days of intense questioning 10 years ago at a Philadelphia hotel, where he defended himself in a deposition for a lawsuit filed by a young woman who accused him of drugging and molesting her.
Even as Mr. Cosby denied he is a sexual predator who assaulted many women, he presented himself in the deposition as an unapologetic, cavalier playboy, someone who used a combination of fame, apparent concern and powerful sedatives in a calculated pursuit of young women — a profile at odds with the popular image he so long enjoyed, that of father figure and public moralist.
In the deposition, which Mr. Cosby has for years managed to keep private but was obtained by The New York Times, the entertainer comes across as alternately annoyed, mocking, occasionally charming and sometimes boastful, often blithely describing sexual encounters in graphic detail.
He talked of the 19-year-old aspiring model who sent him her poem and ended up on his sofa, where, Mr. Cosby said, she pleasured him with lotion.
He spoke with casual disregard about ending a relationship with another model so he could pursue other women. “Moving on,” was his phrase.
He suggested he was skilled in picking up the nonverbal cues that signal a woman’s consent.
“I think I’m a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things, whatever you want to call them,” he said.
Through it all, his manner was largely one of casual indifference.
At one point in the first day of questioning, Dolores M. Troiani, the lawyer for the plaintiff in the case, Andrea Constand, a young woman who worked at Temple University as a basketball manager, seemed struck by Mr. Cosby’s jocular manner.
“I think you’re making light of a very serious situation,” she said, to which Mr. Cosby replied: “That may very well be.”
Interest in Mr. Cosby’s deposition grew this month when a federal judge unsealed a 62-page memorandum of law in the case, which had been settled in 2006. The memorandum contained excerpts from the deposition, including Mr. Cosby’s acknowledgment that he had obtained quaaludes as part of his effort to have sex with women.
The parties have been prohibited from releasing the memorandum because of a confidentiality clause that was part of the settlement agreement, but the deposition itself was never sealed. This month, Ms. Constand’s lawyer asked the court to lift the confidentiality clause so her client would be free to release the nearly 1,000-page deposition transcript. The Times later learned that the transcript was already publicly available through a court reporting service.
Mr. Cosby has never been charged with a crime and has repeatedly denied the accusations of sexual assault, now leveled by dozens of women. David Brokaw, Mr. Cosby’s publicist, and Ms. Troiani did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday. In three suits, women who accused Mr. Cosby of sexual misconduct are pursuing civil claims against him. In addition, the Los Angeles police have said they are reviewing a complaint of a sexual nature against Mr. Cosby.
While Mr. Cosby describes encounters with numerous women through the course of his deposition, it is through his long and detailed descriptions of his relationship with Ms. Constand, who is much younger, that Mr. Cosby’s attitudes, proclivities and approach to women are most clearly revealed. Ms. Constand was present for at least some of Mr. Cosby’s testimony in the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia.
An Interest Piqued
First spotting her at Temple University in the early 2000s, Mr. Cosby said he felt romantic interest immediately (“She’s good-looking”), and began a relationship that led, in his telling, to dinners and more.
Asked how he wooed her, Mr. Cosby, who has been married since 1964, responded: “Inviting her to my house, talking to her about personal situations dealing with her life, growth, education.”
Source: The New York Times |