Andrea Constand Attorney on Cosby Case: “The Horse Galloped From the Barn”
Recently, the New York Times got its hands on a copy of a 2005 deposition that accused rapist Bill Cosby gave at the Rittenhouse Hotel, and CNN followed suit soon after. Naturally, Cosby’s attorneys in Philadelphia are none too happy with a Philadelphia court reporting agency’s release of the document, and now a war of words has ensued between his lawyers and the lawyer representing Andrea Constand, the alleged victim in that case.
On Tuesday, we tried to get our hands on the approximately 1,000-page deposition, which is in the possession of Philadelphia court reporting firm Kaplan Leaman & Wolfe, headquartered on Chestnut Street in Old City. After we put in a request with the company’s office manager, we received an email from CEO Gregg Wolfe, with powerhouse attorney George Bochetto cc’d.
“I am unable to distribute the deposition testimony at this time due to unforeseen circumstances,” Wolfe wrote on Tuesday night, later telling us that he was “not at liberty to elaborate.” Bochetto didn’t provide specifics, either.
Well, it turns out that earlier on Tuesday, Cosby attorneys Patrick O’Connor and George Gowen of Cozen O’Connor filed papers with a Philadelphia court that shed some light on the legal situation surrounding that deposition. The documents were filed along with a request to strike the motion for injunctive relief that Constand won earlier in July, leading to the unsealing of the case.
Included in that paperwork is a letter from KL&W office manager Danielle Murphy to federal judge Eduardo Robreno. Here’s what she wrote:
As a result of being contacted by various news sources the latter part of last week and this past weekend requesting the testimony of Bill Cosby from 2005 and 2006, as well as understanding the motion to intervene and obtain access to documents filed under seal was granted, our firm released the respective transcripts.
However, this morning we received an e-mail from George Gowen from Cozen O’Connor stating, “Please ensure that any further releasing of the deposition ceases immediately.” We are continuing to receive requests regarding the transcripts and are befuddled by Mr. Gowen’s statement within his e-mail.
I contacted your law clerk who told me to fax a letter to Your Honor in order for our firm to gain clarification regarding future requests. Can you please advise how our firm should proceed going forward regarding these inquiries?
Also included is a letter from longtime Constand attorney Dolores Troiani to Gowen, dated Monday:
We are in receipt of your e-mail. When we believed that the agreement was violated, we took the appropriate course and requested that the Court intervene. Your firm has instead chosen to make reckless accusations in the press, which are by any standard defamatory. As confirmed by the court reporter, we had nothing to do with the release of the deposition and we were not contacted in advance of its release.
We spoke to Gregg Wolfe, who is an independent and impartial court reporter of impeccable reputation. He tells us that he released the deposition relying upon his belief, as confirmed by various lawyers who represented the entities requesting the deposition, that the deposition was a public record which had been unsealed by the Court…
Troiani goes on to address the “unworkability” of the settlement agreement that was reached by Cosby and Constand, adding: “In sum, we could spend the next ten years pointing fingers at one another. Although, we are flattered that your client believes we control the international press, we do not have the ability nor inclination to do so. To use a phrase, appropriate to Chester County, the horse galloped from the barn and took all of the ponies with him. You cannot close the barn door…”
In his motion, O’Connor blasts Constand and the media:
The timing of Plaintiff’s July 8, 2015 motion reflects an attempt on her part to ride on the coattails of the barrage of inaccurate and negative media attention that followed this Court’s July 6, 2015 release of excerpts from Defendant’s deposition. Those deposition excerpts included Defendant’s candid testimony that he had had an extramarital affair with one of the Rule 415 Witnesses in the 1970’s, and that, as part of that affair, she took Quaaludes offered by Defendant… Those excerpts did not, however, contain any testimony that Defendant engaged in any non-consensual sex or gave [her] Quaaludes without her knowledge or consent.
Indeed, Quaaludes were a highly popular recreational drug in the 1970’s, labeled in slang as “disco biscuits,” and known for their capacity to increase sexual arousal. There are countless tales of celebrities, music stars, and wealthy socialites in the 1970’s willingly using Quaaludes for recreational purposes and during consensual sex.
Yet, upon the unsealing of those excerpts, the media immediately pounced, inaccurately labeling the released testimony as Defendant’s “confession” of “drugging” women and assaulting them. Reading the media accounts, one would conclude that Defendant has admitted to rape. And yet Defendant admitted to nothing more than being one of the many people who introduced Quaaludes into their consensual sex life in the 1970’s. Especially now that Defendant’s entire deposition is in the public domain, it is all the more obvious that the media, armed with only one side of the story, cavalierly misinterpreted Defendant’s testimony. Emboldened by the media’s one-sided reporting, Plaintiff has now filed a Motion that is a barely-veiled attempt to continue her and her counsel’s campaign against him in the public eye, despite having settled her actual claim against him and having agreed to say no more.
As she states in her motion, Plaintiff’s specific goal is to be permitted to release the entirety of Defendant’s deposition transcript to the media. As the Court already knows, Plaintiff already got what she wanted.
On or about July 18, 2015, Plaintiff’s own hired court reporter turned Defendant’s entire, near 1,000-page, deposition transcript over to the media, without a word to Defendant. The media now has published the transcript worldwide. This occurred despite Plaintiff’s contractual obligation to prevent it. And this occurred after the Court and Defendant expended significant resources in motion practice over whether motions containing just some of Defendant’s deposition would become public, and after Judge Padova ordered that Plaintiff’s counsel must not turn over Defendant’s deposition to certain third-parties seeking it by subpoena. This massive breach of protocol and of the parties’ settlement agreement dwarfs the petty complaints Plaintiff makes in her Motion.
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