For months, the allegations about Bill Cosby have reemerged in the headlines and the effect has been polarizing – either people have sided with the accusers, believing that Cosby was guilty of drugging and raping the women, or they have stood by the comedian in hopes that the accounts were untrue. There was one court case from 2005 that seemed to hold all of the answers but, until yesterday, it was inaccessible. Now, we do know that, under oath in a court of law, Cosby admitted to giving drugs to women for the purpose of having sex because the court documents were unsealed.
Judge Explains Decision
A federal judge chose to unseal the documents and provided a very clear explanation for his actions. Judge Eduardo Robreno said: “The stark contrast between Bill Cosby, the public moralist and Bill Cosby, the subject of serious allegations concerning improper (and perhaps criminal) conduct is a matter as to which the AP — and by extension the public — has a significant interest.” The documents were released after a request from The Associated Press.
Robreno went on to say that the situation “is not about the Defendant’s status as a public person by virtue of the exercise of his trade as a televised or comedic personality. Rather, Defendant has donned the mantle of public moralist and mounted the proverbial electronic or print soap box to volunteer his views on, among other things, childrearing, family life, education, and crime.”
The case was eventually dismissed in 2006 and Cosby was not charged. His lawyers have fought to keep the details private stating that they would be “terribly embarrassing” for the comedian.
Admits to Using Quaaludes
In his 2005 deposition, Cosby admitted to obtaining prescription Quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex. The accuser’s attorney, Dolores Troiani, asked him: “When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?”
“Yes,” Cosby replied.
“Did you ever give any of those young women the Quaaludes without their knowledge?” Troiani asked.
Cosby’s attorney objected and told him not to answer the question. He did, however, admit to giving drugs to “other people” but, again, his lawyers objected before he could elaborate.
What Are Quaaludes?
Many of us have heard the name but many from the younger generations may be unfamiliar with the drug. Methaqualone or Quaaludes were popular among housewives in the 1960s and then again in the 70s and 80s at disco night clubs. It’s a powerful sedative that has also been referred to as Ludes, Lemmons and 714s. Initially marketed as being less addictive than barbiturates, it was synthesized to act as part sleeping pill and part sedative. Doctors prescribed it for housewives who were trying to manage anxiety and insomnia but it was soon discovered that mixing the drug with alcohol led to a “drunken, sleepy high” that produced feelings of euphoria.
It didn’t take long, however, for people to discover the risk factors involved with Quaaludes. Abusing them can lead to respiratory arrest, delirium, kidney or liver damage, coma or even death. By the time it was labelled a Schedule II Controlled Substance, it had already grown in popularity and people were able to get it through fraudulent doctors or illegal transactions.
Called Accusers Liars
So far, more than 25 women have publicly accused Cosby of drugging and raping them. The allegations go back more than 40 years but he has never been charged for any crimes. Some of the women who have been vocal are celebrating the release of the court documents because they feel validated and vindicated.
Barbara Bowman, who says she was assaulted by Cosby several times in the late 1980s, said: “It’s huge. I’ve worked so long and hard to tell my story and screamed my story onto deaf ears. It was like everything turned a 180 in a matter of a minute.”
Joan Tarshis said she “never thought this day would happen.” She claims Cosby raped her when she was 19 years old. She added: “First of all, I kept it a secret because I was afraid to talk about it, because of Mr. Cosby’s power. Then, when we came out, and lots of other women started to come out, we were called liars. And now that the truth has come out — that he has bought drugs in order to drug women to have sex with him — I’m just so relieved that the truth has come out.”
Another alleged victim, Victoria Valentino, felt that the unsealing of the documents sends a clear message to celebrities who may believe they should have a different set a rules than everyone else. She said: “I think the message has to be that fame and wealth and power cannot exempt you from justice. You cannot exempt anyone from the law.”
So far, support for Cosby, even among his biggest defenders has dropped. Singer, Jill Scott, previously tweeted: “I’m respecting a man who has done more for the image of Brown people that almost anyone EVER. From Fat Albert to the Huxtables.” Her most recent tweets suggest she has had a change of heart. She wrote: “About Bill Cosby. Sadly his own testimony offers PROOF of terrible deeds, which is ALL I have ever required to believe the accusations” She later added: “I stood by a man I respected and loved. I was wrong. It HURTS!!! When you get it ALL right, holla.”
Director, Judd Apatow, who has spoken out against Cosby since the scandal reemerged last year gave a statement to Esquire saying: “Maybe now more people in show business and all around our country will stand up and tell the people he attacked that we support you and believe you. I also hope Camille Cosby and Phylicia Rashad will now stand with the victims and not with their attacker.” Camille has famously defended her husband against the allegations and his former on-screen wife, Rashad, has also shown her support.
Those who want justice in the wake of this new information will be disappointed to learn that it’s too late to prosecute the 77-year-old since, in most cases, the statute of limitations has passed. As of the time of this writing, Cosby had not issued an official statement regarding the released court documents.