Cosby de­tailed wom­an­iz­ing un­der oath

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

Un­der oath in a ho­tel — away from the TV cam­eras and the soap­box where he did his public mor­al­iz­ing — Bill Cosby sketched a very dif­fer­ent im­age of Amer­ica’s Dad: a phi­lan­derer who plied young women with quaaludes, claimed to be adept at read­ing their un­spo­ken de­sires and used his wealth to keep “Mrs. Cosby” in the dark.

The por­trait comes from Cosby’s own words in a tran­script of a 2005-06 de­po­si­tion taken in Philadelphia that rep­re­sents the only pub­licly avail­able tes­ti­mony he has given in re­sponse to ac­cu­sa­tions he drugged and sex­u­ally as­saulted women. Cosby has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, call­ing the sex­ual con­tact con­sen­sual.

There’s no clear-cut ev­i­dence in the doc­u­ments that he com­mit­ted a sex crime, but his tes­ti­mony adds to the un­savoury de­tails that have all but wrecked his nice-guy rep­u­ta­tion as TV’s Dr. Cliff Huxtable and made a mock­ery of his preach­ing about de­cency and per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity.

The tran­scripts, ob­tained by The As­so­ci­ated Press on Sun­day, are from a law­suit filed by a for­mer Tem­ple Univer­sity em­ployee who ac­cused the ac­tor and co­me­dian of drug­ging and mo­lest­ing her. Ear­lier this month, a judge un­sealed a sum­mary of the de­po­si­tion as a re­sult of a law­suit from the AP. The New York Times was the first to ob­tain the en­tire tran­script.

He told of how he tried to gain women’s trust and make them com­fort­able by talk­ing about their fam­i­lies, their ed­u­ca­tion and their ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions.

In the de­po­si­tion, Cosby said that on one oc­ca­sion, he and Tem­ple’s An­drea Con­stand en­gaged in sex­ual con­tact, in which he reached into her pants and fon­dled her, tak­ing her si­lence as con­sent.

“I don’t hear her say any­thing. And I don’t feel her say any­thing. And so I con­tinue and I go into the area that is some­where be­tween per­mis­sion and rejection. I am not stopped,” he said. He said she then groped him in re­turn.

Later that night, he said, he tried to re­sume con­tact with her, but she said no, and “I pull back.”

He said that he avoided in­ter­course with her, sug­gest­ing he was afraid she would be­come too at­tached. He said in­ter­course “is some­thing that I feel the woman will suc­cumb to more of a ro­mance and more of a feel­ing, not love, but it’s deeper than a play­ful sit­u­a­tion.”

He said Con­stand was not up­set when she left that night, and he as­sured his ques­tioner: “I think I’m a pretty de­cent reader of peo­ple and their emo­tions in these ro­man­tic sex­ual things, what­ever you want to call them.”

Cosby’s lawyers and rep­re­sen­ta­tives did not re­spond Sun­day to email and tele­phone calls.

The 78-year-old comic has never been charged with a crime. In most cases, the statute of lim­i­ta­tions has run out, though at least one case, from 2008, is still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in Los An­ge­les.

AP PHOTO

In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, en­ter­tainer Bill Cosby ges­tures dur­ing an in­ter­view at the Smith­so­nian's Na­tional Mu­seum of African Art in Washington.

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