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Bill Cosby Loses Another Round In His Legal Battles

Comedian Bill Cosby outside a Norristown, Pa., courtroom in February. An appeals court has rejected Cosby's effort to reseal his deposition testimony about extramarital affairs, prescription sedatives and payments to women.
Mel Evans

Comedian Bill Cosby's attempt to have his deposition testimony about alleged sexual assaults resealed was rejected by a federal appeals court, which decided that the issue is moot because the details have already been published.

The 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled:

"Re-sealing the documents would not provide Cosby with any meaningful relief, and thus this appeal is moot. ... The contents of the documents are a matter of public knowledge, and we cannot pretend that we could change that fact by ordering them re-sealed."

As NPR's Jeff Brady reports, the deposition became public last summer after a request from The Associated Press to unseal testimony Cosby gave in 2005 in a lawsuit brought against him by Andrea Constand. She was a Temple University employee who claimed that he drugged and assaulted her in his home in 2004.

Cosby has insisted that their sexual relations were consensual. Cosby settled with Constand for an undisclosed sum.

As Jeff reports:

"It's the latest legal setback for the 79-year-old entertainer. In May, a Pennsylvania judge ruled there's enough evidence to put Cosby on trial for sexual assault charges."

The deposition is nearly 1,000 pages long and contains what the court called "damaging admissions" by Cosby, including testimony that he had extramarital affairs, and that he had sexual relations with a woman (not identified in the ruling) after giving her the sedative known as Quaaludes. According to a footnote in the ruling, "ingesting Quaaludes may render someone incapable of consenting to sex."

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Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.
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