A lawyer representing Bill Cosby argued in court Friday that it would be "terribly embarrassing" for the comedian if documents from a 2005 sex-assault lawsuit were ever unsealed, reports the Associated Press.
The embattled comedian is fighting efforts by AP to unseal motions from a civil lawsuit he settled with Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee.
Constand, the former director of operations for the Temple women's basketball program, accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her at his Main Line, Pa., mansion in early 2004. A year later, she filed a suit after reporting the alleged assault to police. Lawyers reached a confidential settlement between Constand and Cosby, one of the school's most famous alumni.
George M. Gowen III, Cosby's lawyer, argued in court Friday that his client's deposition in the confidential settlement could reveal embarrassing details about Cosby's marriage, sex life and prescription-drug use, according to AP.
"It would be terribly embarrassing for this material to come out," Gowen argued. Further, he said that the public should not have access to what Cosby was forced to reveal while answering questions under oath from the accuser's lawyer nearly a decade ago.
"Frankly … it would embarrass him, [and] it would also prejudice him in eyes of the jury pool in Massachusetts," Gowen said.
U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno asked Gowen why Cosby would be embarrassed by the release of his sworn testimony, saying that he accusations in Constand's lawsuit are already in the public eye, notes the report. "Why would he be embarrassed by his own version of the facts?" Robreno asked.
While arguing over whether Cosby is a public figure entitled to a lesser degree of privacy, a lawyer for AP called Cosby "an icon," particularly in Philadelphia, who "held himself out as someone who would guide the public in ways of morality," the report says.
Indeed, over a dozen women have accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them, and three have filed a defamation lawsuit against him in Massachusetts. The women charge that he defamed them when his agents said their accusations were untrue, notes the news outlet. Cosby is trying to get their case thrown out before discovery. He has never been charged with any related crimes, AP notes.
Read more at the Associated Press.