In July of last year, 35 of the women accusing Bill Cosby of rape were photographed and interviewed by New York magazine, a powerful testament to what an allegedly heinous and villainous rapist the once-beloved entertainer is. On Tuesday, a judge swiftly turned down a demand from Cosby’s lawyers for the magazine to turn over unpublished interviews and notes from the feature, who claimed they were vital to his defense.
The Huffington Post reported that Cosby’s attorneys made the demand Tuesday in federal court in New York; they’ve been seeking the interview materials since March. At the time, New York spokeswoman Lauren Starke told Courthouse News they would fight the subpoena. According to HuffPo, Cosby sought six interviews, to spot inconsistencies in the women’s testimony:
Cosby wants the complete interviews from six of the 35 women who described their alleged encounters with him to New York magazine, according to court records. Cosby has claimed that the interviews are vital to his defense in a Massachusetts defamation lawsuit because they may reveal inconsistencies in the six women’s version of events.
In a response, the magazine’s lawyers said Cosby’s going on a fishing expedition, or, as they put it, “a blind and inappropriate effort to sift through New York’s files in hopes of stumbling on something Cosby might possibly find useful in his litigation.”
A judge quickly agreed, using the same language:
Reporters nationwide are protected by shield laws that usually prevent them from having to turn over their notes; New York’s are especially strong.
Cosby wanted the interviews as part of a defamation lawsuit filed by seven of his accusers; he’s also countersuing them and, separately, Andrea Constand, who he accuses of breaking a confidentiality agreement by talking to the Pennsylvania district attorney about Cosby’s alleged assault on her in 2004. He’s now facing criminal charges for that incident, in which he’s accused of drugging her with wine and Benadryl before sexually attacking her.
All of these legal actions look a lot like intimidation tactics, designed to frighten, wear down, and financially stress the women accusing Cosby of rape. And with nearly 60 accusers, well, he’s got a lot of intimidating to do.
Image via AP.