In Massachusetts, according to Variety, a judge has ruled that seven women who are suing Bill Cosby for defamation can access Andrea Constand’s case file, regarding a 2004 sexual assault she allegedly suffered at the hands of the comedian.
The women are culling evidence to prove their own allegations of sexual assault by Cosby; many of them testified during Constand’s case as Jane Does. In 2005, Constand and Cosby settled the case in civil court for an undisclosed sum and a confidentiality agreement.
After coming forward with their abuse allegations against Cosby, Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie filed a collective defamation lawsuit against him in 2014. Their lawyer Joseph Cammarata requested Constand’s case files from her attorney, Dolores Troiani. Troiani was open to sharing, but Cosby’s lawyer,s as you might expect, weren’t. In response, the actor’s legal team filed a defamation counterclaim against the seven women.
However U.S. District Judge Anita Brody ruled that while Constand agreed to confidentiality regarding the 2004 incident with Cosby after their subsequent settlement, the seven women didn’t, according to Variety.
“The public reaps no benefit by allowing settlement agreements to suppress evidence,” she wrote.
Brody’s ruling allows the women to sort through all material involving their testimonies along with other witnesses, but barring “any other subject matter.”
[Judge Brody] did grant American Media Inc.’s motion to redact information in the case file that pertains to a settlement amount that the National Enquirer paid to Constand. The Enquirer was also named in Constand’s civil litigation over a story published at the time.
The amount Cosby paid Constand in their settlement agreement—and what’s he’s suing her to recoup because he knows no rock bottom—had been redacted as well.
Elsewhere, Cosby is still fighting a criminal case in Pennsylvania stemming from his alleged assault of Constand. He was formerly charged with aggravated indecent assault, a first-degree felony, in December 2015, just before the statute of limitations ran out. Since then his legal team have been working to get that case dismissed, as well as the several defamation suits Cosby is fighting in several states.
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