Court on Cosby Deposition: Toothpaste Is Out of the Tube

A federal court heard the embattled comedian's appeal to have his 2005 deposition resealed today. It has yet to rule on the motion.

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby arrives for a court appearance Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Norristown, Pa.

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby arrives for a court appearance Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Norristown, Pa.

Disgraced comedian Bill Cosby is hoping a court will reseal deposition documents from a 2005 sexual assault lawsuit which were made public last year. Cosby’s request was heard by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court in Philadelphia today.

The deposition in question was taken during a lawsuit filed against Cosby by Andrea Constand. In it, Cosby admitted to having several affairs with women and obtaining prescription sedatives to give to women whom he hoped to seduce. A legal push from The Associated Press led to the deposition being unsealed in 2015.

Although much of the information contained in the deposition has already been seen by the public, Cosby hopes that resealing the documents would prohibit the information from being used against him in ongoing and future litigation with Constand and other accusers.

“A reversal by this court would allow defendant to argue to the various courts in which he finds himself a party — or may in the future find himself a party — that, because the unsealing order was erroneous, the unsealed documents, and information learned from the unsealed documents, should not be introduced in court as evidence against defendant,” Cosby’s attorney Patrick J. O’Connor wrote in a legal brief.

In other words, Cosby and his lawyer believe that his deposition from 2005, which casts him in a brutally negative light, should not have been made public at all, and resealing them would help to undo that mistake. The AP counters that it would be an insult to the public interest to remove the deposition’s already-known contents from being available for consideration in the courtroom.

In court today, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court’s three-judge panel reportedly used a toothpaste metaphor to describe the information contained in the deposition. “You’re asking us to put it back, and we just can’t do it,” Circuit Judge Thomas L. Ambro reportedly said. Cosby attorney George Gowen reportedly argued that there may yet be more metaphorical toothpaste in the tube.

A decision by the court about whether to reseal the deposition is not yet known. The court has reportedly not given any indication on when it will rule.

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