Judge says accusers can see file from earlier Bill Cosby case


March 22, 2016
Bill Cosby

A federal judge in Philadelphia ruled yesterday that attorneys for seven women suing Bill Cosby in Massachusetts for defamation can see much of the case file of a lawyer for the accuser in a 2005 sexual assault lawsuit against the comedian.

Judge Anita Brody denied a request from Cosby to block a subpoena seeking the file of

former Temple University employee Andrea Constand's lawyer, Dolores Troiani.

Constand reached a

confidential settlement with Cosby in the civil case. Late last year, Pennsylvania prosecutors charged Cosby criminally in the alleged assault on Constand. Cosby has pleaded not guilty.

Brody ruled the confidential agreement between Cosby and Constand "cannot block the

disclosure of those materials

to third parties" in a separate lawsuit.

"Even if plaintiffs were required to produce a compelling justification for disclosure, one readily exists. The public reaps no benefit by allowing settlement agreements to suppress evidence," the judge wrote in her ruling.

The judge said she is not ruling on whether a jury in the Massachusetts defamation case will get to see the material, only on whether the lawyer for the women in the defamation suit can have access to it.

The seven women suing Cosby for defamation allege that he tainted their reputations by allowing his representatives to brand them as liars after they went public with claims that he sexually assaulted them decades ago.

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