In 2005, Bill Cosby testified under oath that he gave the National Enquirer an exclusive interview about sexual assault accusations against him in exchange for the tabloid spiking a story from a second accuser, reports Fox News.
Excerpts of Cosby’s deposition from a civil lawsuit filed by Andrea Constand were made public on Wednesday, which quote Cosby saying he feared the public would believe her accusations if the Enquirer published similar claims by a second accuser, named Beth Ferrier.
“Did you ever think that if Beth Ferrier’s story was printed in the National Enquirer, that that would make the public believe that maybe Andrea was also telling the truth?” Cosby was asked.
“Exactly,” replied Cosby, according to court motions filed under seal, which were made available from archived federal court records.
The legendary comedian also revealed in the deposition that he had a contract with the Enquirer.
“I would give them an exclusive story, my words,” said Cosby in the September, 2005 deposition. In return, “they would not print the story of — print Beth’s story.”
The documents come the same month Cosby was shown on video trying to persuade a reporter with the Associated Press to “scuttle” his response when asked about the sexual assault allegations.
“No, no, we don’t answer that,” Cosby said in the tape. “I would appreciate if it was scuttled.”
Cosby was reportedly given a draft of Ferrier’s interview with the Enquirer and was told she passed a lie detector test.
Furthermore, the comedian was given an advanced look at his own interview titled “My Story,” wherein he said he would defend himself against anyone who tried to “exploit” him.
Constand, who alleged defamation, later sued Cosby and the Enquirer. Those claims were consolidated with the sexual assault lawsuit. Both were settled out of court.
A representative from American Media, Inc., which owns the National Enquirer, wrote in an email that their publication remained “unflinching” in their coverage of the Cosby sexual abuse scandal.
“We continue to remain aggressive in our reporting today and stand by the integrity of our coverage of this story which we have taken the lead on for more than a decade,” said the representative.
In the deposition, Cosby went on to say that Constand and her mother only wanted an apology for the story that was published in January, 2005. He said they received one.
“Requesting only an apology is not the action of an extortionist or someone who wants to ‘exploit’ a celebrity,” Constand’s lawyer argued in their defamation lawsuit.
According to Constand and her mother, Cosby then offered to pay for Constand’s “education.”
Constand first met Cosby when she worked with the women’s basketball team at Temple University in Philadelphia. She alleged that Cosby drugged and raped her in 2004 in his nearby mansion. Constand quit her job and moved home to Canada later that year.
She filed a report against Cosby with the Ontario Police in January, 2005, which was followed by a federal civil suit that March.
Ferrier went public with what she describes as a brief affair with the comedian when she was a model in 1984. During an encounter with Cosby in Denver, she alleged that she was drugged and then woke up in the back of her car with her clothes disheveled.
Instead of publishing her story in 2005, the Enquirer published Cosby’s, in which he said, “Sometimes you try to help people and it backfires on you and then they try to take advantage of you.”
Constand’s lawyer asked Cosby in the legal deposition if in the Enquirer article he tried “to make the public believe that Andrea was not telling the truth?”
“Yes,” replied Cosby.
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