Attorneys for scandal-plagued comedian Bill Cosby are firing back at some of his accusers, claiming that they’re taking the “nuclear option” in a dispute over the leak of a 2005 deposition that Cosby gave in a sexual battery case against him.
Cosby’s team made the accusation in a court filing Friday, after attorneys for accusers Tamara Green, Therese Serignese and Linda Traitz asked that the comedian’s lawyers be sanctioned for requesting discovery in the release of the full deposition, which was subsequently reported on by the New York Times.
“Instead of simply opposing defendant’s motion in the usual course by explaining why they disagree with it, plaintiffs had chosen the ‘nuclear option': filing a motion for sanctions and accusing defendant’s counsel of bad faith,” Friday’s filing in federal court in Pennsylvania reads.
The deposition in question was the result of a sexual battery case filed by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, which was settled in 2006. Contending that the release of the transcript constitutes a violation of a confidentiality agreement in the settlement, Cosby’s attorneys filed papers seeking discovery to determine if Constand and her attorney Dolores Troiani played a part in the deposition’s release.
Citing “legitimate concerns about the true role that” the pair might have played in the release of the deposition, Cosby’s lawyers noted that the deposition was released to the Times by the company that Troiani hired to transcribe it.
Constand’s attorney has denied involvement in the release of the deposition. And last week, a motion to sanction defense counsel was filed, claiming that the request to take discovery is “frivolous, has been filed in bad faith, and is an attempt to vexatiously multiply the proceedings.”
In Friday’s filing, Cosby’s lawyers begged to differ.
“Nowhere in his [discovery] motion does defendant accuse Ms. Troiani of any misconduct,” the filing reads. “Rather than leap to conclusions, defendant simply wishes to learn what happened.”
The filing goes on to criticize the call for sanctions as “an astounding overreaction.”
In recent months, Cosby has been accused of rape or sexual assault by dozens of women, with a common theme being that he allegedly drugged them beforehand.
Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, has denied such accusations in the past.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
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Bill Cosby Scandal Timeline: From First Accusation to Jail Sentence (Photos)
A chronology of controversies that have tarnished the legacy of a Hollywood icon
Bill Cosby, once one of Hollywood's most beloved stars, has dramatically fallen from grace since facing multiple accusations of sexual assault and misconduct -- leading to a criminal conviction in 2018 on three counts of aggravated sexual assault. Here's a look back at the scandal.