Dr. Bill Cosby’s deposition admissions led to his criminal charges and conviction

I have had several people ask me about my assertion in my blog yesterday that Dr. Bill Cosby admitted to using drugs to take sexual advantage of young women.

In 2005, Dr. Cosby gave a deposition in the Andrea Constand civil case. After swearing an oath to tell the truth, and recognizing that being untruthful could lead to perjury charges, Cosby knowingly and willingly admitted having sexual interest in Constand, drugging her, and providing info to the National Enquirer to discredit her and other accusers. (Nota Bene–I am not sure why Cosby’s lawyer did not counsel or strenuously insist upon him to plead the Fifth Amendment; the comments below served as the bases for his being charged and convicted this past week. Yes, the civil case deposition was sealed but to Cosby’s chagrin, because he was deemed a “public moralist,” U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno unsealed the deposition for public inspection).

*Excerpts from the Los Angeles Times

After being sworn, the following questions were propounded to Dr. Bill Cosby:

Q: When did you first develop a romantic interest in Andrea?

A: Probably the first time I saw her [at Temple’s arena].

On the night in question:

Q: Can you tell me … what you recall of the night in which you gave the pills to Andrea?

A: Andrea came to the house. I called her. … We talked about Temple University. We talked about her position. And then I went upstairs and I got three pills. I brought them down. They are the equivalent of one and a half. The reason why I gave them and offered them to Andrea, which she took after examining them, was because she was talking about stress.

—Cosby describes a several-minute sexual encounter that followed

Q: So, you’re not telling us that you verbally asked her for permission?

A: I didn’t say it verbally, I said. The action is my hand on her midriff, which is skin. I’m not lifting any clothing up. This is, I don’t remember fully what it is, but it’s there and I can feel. I got her skin and it’s just above the hand and it’s just above where you can go under the pants.

Q: Then what happens?

A: 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.

Attorney Troiani asks Cosby about a phone call a year later between Cosby and Constand’s mother, Gianni Constand, who told him something was wrong with her daughter, who was also on the line.

Q: What was the thing that you did not want to talk about?

A: I didn’t want to talk about, “What did you give her?”

Q: Why?

A: Because we’re over the telephone and I’m not sending anything [the pill bottle] over the mail and I’m not giving away anything.

Q: Why didn’t you simply tell her … that you had given her daughter an over-the-counter drug called Benadryl?

A: I’m not going to argue with somebody’s mother who is accusing me of something. And then when I apologize she says to me, “That’s all I wanted to know, Bill.” … And I’m apologizing because I’m thinking this is a dirty old man with a young girl. I apologized. I said to the mother it was digital penetration.

___

Q: When she sat here and cried [Constand, during her deposition], how did you feel?

A: I think Andrea is a liar and I know she’s a liar because I was there.

___

On quaaludes:

Cosby testified that he had gotten quaaludes from his doctor in Los Angeles in the 1970s. He said he was given seven prescriptions for the now-banned sedative, ostensibly for a sore back.

Q: Why didn’t you ever take the quaaludes?

A: Because I used them.

Q: For what?

A: The same as a person would say, “Have a drink.”

Q: You gave them to other people?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you believe at that time that it was illegal for you to dispense those drugs?

A: Yes.

Q: How did (the doctor) know that you didn’t plan to use [them]?

A: What was happening at that time was that, that was, quaaludes happen to be the drug that kids, young people were using to party with and there were times when I wanted to have them just in case.

Q: When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?

A: Yes.

Cosby acknowledges having a sexual relationship with accuser Therese Serignese starting around 1976, when she was 19. Serignese, who has gone public with her accusations, has said the first time she met Cosby at a Las Vegas hotel in 1976, he gave her quaaludes and a glass of water before they had sex.

Q: Did you give her quaaludes?

A: Yes.

Q: What effect did the quaaludes have on her?

A: She became in those days what was called high.

Q: She said that she believes she was not in the position to consent to intercourse after you gave her the drug. Do you believe that is correct?

A: I don’t know. … How many years ago are we talking about? 197[6]? … I meet Ms. Picking in Las Vegas. She meets me backstage. I give her quaaludes. We then have sex.

___

Q: Why didn’t you ever take them yourself?

A: I get sleepy.

Q: How would you know that if you never took them?

A: Quaaludes happen to be a depressant. I have had surgery and while being given pills that block the nervous system, in particular the areas of muscle, the back, I found that I get sleepy and I want to stay awake.

Q: Is that why you don’t drink alcohol?

A: Exactly.

Cosby is asked about educational trusts he offered Constand and others, through his foundation or otherwise.

Q: How would [the money to Constand] come?

A: It would come through our writing a check.

Q: And our being who?

A: The family.

Q: Would your wife know about that?

A: My wife would not know it was because Andrea and I had had sex and that Andrea was now very, very upset and that she decided that she would like to go to school or whatever.

Q: How would you explain to your wife that you were giving this personally as opposed to using the foundation?

A: I would say to her that there is a person I would like to help.

___

In paying Therese Serignese, Cosby acknowledges the money would flow through his representatives at the William Morris agency.

Q: So, was the purpose of that to disguise —

A: Yes.

Q: I have to finish my question. Was to disguise that you were paying money to Therese?

A: Yes.

Q: Who were you preventing from knowing that?

A: Mrs. Cosby.

Cosby is asked by Constand’s lawyer about granting an exclusive interview to the National Enquirer in 2005 in exchange for the tabloid agreeing not to publish a story about accuser Beth Ferrier, who has gone public as another accuser attached to Constand’s lawsuit.

Q: What is your understanding of the agreement that you had with the National Enquirer?

A: I would give them an exclusive story, my words.

Q: What would they give you in return?

A: They would not print … Beth’s story.

Q: Did you ever think that if Beth Ferrier’s story was printed in the National Enquirer that would make the public believe that maybe Andrea [Constand] was also telling the truth?

A: Exactly.

Q: So that you knew when [your] article was printed … that you had to make the public believe that Andrea was not telling the truth?

A: Yes.

To conclude, having been found guilty as charged, Dr. Cosby faces up to 30 years imprisonment, but only scores between 22 and 36 months per Pennsylvania sentencing guidelines.