LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The woman battling Bill Cosby to make public a 2006 settlement of her sexual-assault complaint against him said in court documents on Tuesday that she is a lesbian, despite his sworn assertions that their encounter was consensual and he has a knack for reading women’s cues.
The revelation by Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee who has alleged the comedian tricked her into taking drugs before assaulting her in 2004, came in a legal memorandum filed in federal court in Philadelphia.
In it, Constand’s lawyers argue that Cosby, 78, breached the confidentiality clause of their settlement through a series of public comments by his attorneys as they mounted a media campaign seeking to put his “spin” on the widening scandal.
Her attorneys contend Constand’s only recourse is for the judge to unseal the settlement and free her of the confidentiality restrictions so she can defend her reputation.
Cosby’s legal team has been fighting to keep the entire case under seal.
His lawyers took to the airwaves last week after excerpts from a sworn deposition he gave 10 years ago were recently made public, including his statements about being adept at deciphering sexual cues.
Explaining why he viewed his sexual encounter with Constand as consensual, Cosby recounted that his accuser had not appeared angry afterward.
“I think that I’m a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things, whatever you want to call them,” he said in the excerpt, published by the New York Times.
Striking a sardonic tone, Constand’s lawyers fired back at that assertion in her latest court filing, saying, “despite his talent for interpreting female reactions to him, (Cosby) did not realize (Constand) was gay until the police told him.”
More than 40 women have come forward during the past year to accuse Cosby of having raped or molested them after plying them with drugs or alcohol in incidents dating back decades.
Cosby, who faces at least four pending civil suits stemming from such complaints, as well as a criminal investigation by Los Angeles police, has never been charged. He and his lawyers, while acknowledging marital infidelity on Cosby’s part, have consistently denied allegations of sexual misconduct.
Cosby, whose career has been left in shambles by the scandal, has repeatedly insisted through his lawyers that nothing in the deposition excerpts represents an admission of anything but consensual sex and recreational drug use.
Reporting by Steve Gorman; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel from New York; Editing by Eric Beech