Cosby Lawyers Deny Drug, Sex Allegations

Thursday , May 12, 2005




Lawyers for Bill Cosby (search) denied allegations that he drugged and sexually molested a woman at his home but acknowledged that he gave her over-the-counter medication after she complained she was having trouble sleeping.

The entertainer offered the woman 1 1/2 tablets of the allergy medication Benadryl during a visit to his suburban Philadelphia home in January 2004, his attorneys said in court filings this week.

The woman sued Cosby in March, and lawyers appeared before a federal judge Wednesday to discuss whether a gag order should be imposed in the case. Prosecutors examined the allegations against Cosby earlier this year, but declined to file charges, citing insufficient evidence.

The woman was an employee at Cosby's alma mater, Temple University (search), and now lives in Canada.

Cosby's attorneys filed a motion last week asking for an order barring the parties from discussing any information disclosed during the discovery phase of the trial, including the depositions of other women who claim to have been harassed or assaulted by the comedian.

"We are entitled to a level playing field here," Patrick O'Connor, an attorney for Cosby, told the judge Wednesday. "Discovery materials are not matters of public record."

The woman's attorneys said any gag order would unfairly punish their client. When other people speak highly of Cosby's character in public, even without mentioning the allegations, that gives him an unfair advantage, attorney Delores Troiani said.

"The problem with this case is that our client has nobody to speak publicly for her but us," Troiani told the judge. "He is truly Goliath and she is truly David."

In a letter Wednesday, an attorney for The Associated Press asked the court to deny the motion for a blanket protective order, citing Cosby's status as an entertainment icon and role model.

The woman claimed Cosby gave her three blue pills that rendered her semiconscious, then sexually molested her at his home in suburban Philadelphia in January 2004. She said she awoke to find her bra undone and her clothes in disarray.