As more and more women spoke out saying they, too, had been drugged and then sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby, one question that remained unanswered was how the hell one of the most powerful men in Hollywood avoided prosecution until so very recently. An answer has begun to emerge, thanks to a legal document filed by lawyers for one of the first women to speak out, Andrea Constand. Those documents include a portion of a deposition in which former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor—who originally decided not to prosecute Cosby—manages to get basic facts about the case wrong, as well as an email that shows him providing guidance to Cosby’s defense team on why he felt Cosby still shouldn’t be charged.
Today, Castor’s lawyers announced that he was filing a personal injury lawsuit against Constand. James Beasley, Jr., the attorney representing him explained the thinking behind to suit to Philly.com: “[Constand] was trying to gain a tactical advantage with the election in order to get Kevin Steele put in so that she could get Cosby prosecuted.” An attorney for Constand’s lawyers countered that, from what they had heard, “we do not expect [the lawsuit] will last very long.”
(Jezebel reached out to both Beasley and Castor’s other attorney, Justin Bayer, for comment on this piece. Neither immediately responded; we will update this post if they do.)
Constand filed her lawsuit against Castor back in 2015, saying statements he had made in the press had defamed her and cast her in a false light. Castor was running for district attorney at the time (he lost to Kevin Steele, who charged Cosby), but in the process, Constand’s lawsuit said, he repeatedly misrepresented the details of her case in ways that hurt her. The suit sheds light on Castor’s suit filed today because it contained documents that detail just how hard Castor seemed to work to help Cosby out of legal trouble.
First are a series of emails that Castor sent to then-district attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who had decided to reopen the Cosby investigation. He sent her one on Sept. 23, 2015. He sent her two more two days later, on Sept. 25. Over and over again he insists that a press release—yes, a press release—had the power to absolve Cosby of future prosecutions because he had signed it. That was proven false when the Commonwealth filed charges against Cosby.
Here’s what he claimed in one of the emails:
In the emails, he goes on to give other legal opinions that would be proven wrong at Cosby’s criminal trial. He said, for example, there was no way Cosby’s deposition from the civil suit would be admitted into court; it was.
Again, his explanation of how that was possible from an email:
Then, on Jan. 3 of 2016, Castor sent the following email to one of the lawyers on Cosby’s defense team, Brian McMonagle. In it, he blames all the people you would expect: the media, the new district attorney, and, of course, Gloria Allred.
But what about before? Perhaps, years ago, Castor had genuinely wanted to pursue the case and felt there wasn’t enough evidence. Consider Castor’s own recollections in February of last year regarding his thought process on the case. The hearing was to decide if Montgomery County prosecutors should be disqualified from the Cosby case (they were not).
He later went on to add this:
This all was, as we know now, untrue. The recordings were not illegal and were allowed into evidence during Cosby’s criminal trial. And the times Constand called Cosby after the night she said he assaulted her were explained by prosecutors during the trial—she had to take those calls; he was one of the most powerful men at Temple, and could have gotten her fired.
For as much attention has been paid to the lurid, insane, and at times disgusting details within the Cosby deposition, the vast majority of evidence presented against Cosby was already held by prosecutors when Constand first came forward. Constand’s story has, by and large, remained incredibly consistent over the years. What’s changed is our willingness, and the willingness of people in power, to believe her.
To view the full court filing, click here.