Editor’s note, June 30: On June 30, 2021, Bill Cosby was released from prison when his sexual assault conviction was overturned by a Pennsylvania appeals court. The text below, originally published on July 19, 2015, has not been updated.
- The New York Times has published highlights from the transcript of a deposition of Bill Cosby that took place over four days in 2005 and 2006. The deposition was held as part of a lawsuit filed by Andrea Constand, who accused the comedian of drugging and sexually assaulting her. You can read excerpts here.
- A summary of the deposition released earlier in July 2015 revealed that Cosby admitted he had procured Quaaludes, a type of sedative, with the intent to give them to women he was planning to have sex with. He also admitted to giving Constand one and a half tablets of Benadryl. Cosby refused to answer in the deposition whether he had ever given women Quaaludes without their knowledge.
- The second deposition transcript depicts Cosby as cultivating relationships with young women by acting as a mentor figure to them, spending time with them, and taking on a larger and larger role in their lives.
- Cosby also admits to increasingly elaborate methods to keep his extramarital affairs secret from his wife, Camille, including paying a woman to keep quiet about their affair through the talent agency that represented him.
- Constand's lawyer had asked the court to release the 10,000-page deposition transcript to the public; in the meantime, the Times learned it was already publicly available through a court reporting service.
How Cosby spoke of his relationship with Constand
In what might be the most telling moment of the deposition, Cosby says he did not believe his sexual contact with Constand had been unwelcome because of her behavior afterward. He says:
I walk her out. She does not look angry. She does not say to me, don’t ever do that again. She doesn’t walk out with an attitude of a huff, because I think that I’m a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things, whatever you want to call them.
Cosby had met Constand when she was working as a basketball manager at Temple University in the early 2000s. He portrayed his relationship with her as one where he built up a mentor-mentee connection. He said their relationship consisted of "inviting her to my house, talking to her about personal situations dealing with her life, growth, education."
In the deposition, Cosby denied having sexual intercourse with Constand, saying instead they had a "sexual moment." Cosby also said that he refrains from having sex with women because it will lead them to "succumb to more of a romance."
Constand's mother later called Cosby to confront him. Cosby said that at the time, he wanted to ask Constand's mother about her daughter's orgasm (as supposed proof of her romantic attachment to him), but did not. He later offered to pay for Constand's education.
Cosby had seven different prescriptions for Quaaludes
Cosby admitted to obtaining seven different prescriptions for the sedatives over several years during the 1970s. He utilized a Los Angeles doctor for this and claimed the prescriptions were for back pain.
Cosby does admit to giving the drugs to women, saying "the same as any person would, say, have a drink," but he claims to have only given them Quaaludes with their knowledge. When asked, however, if Therese Serignese, a woman he is accused of assaulting in 1976, could consent to having sex with him after he gave her the drugs, he said, "I don't know."
Cosby discussed his sexual encounters with several other women over the course of the deposition, reports the Times. He also described the methods through which he hid the encounters from his wife, Camille, usually through paying the women to keep quiet.
There have been many, many accusations of sexual assault leveled against Cosby, from dozens of women. The accusations all follow a very similar, disturbing pattern.