Bill Cosby’s lawyers have asked the judge in his upcoming criminal trial to prevent jurors from hearing that the legendary comedian admitted to given women quaaludes, money or educational funds.
The star’s lawyers, who have helped Cosby to a string of recent court victories, said such testimony would unfairly prejudice the jury.
“The testimony about quaaludes and the alleged provision of money or educational funds is quintessentially the kind of evidence that causes unfair prejudice,” Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa, Cosby’s lawyers, told the court this week in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
In a deposition for a 2005 lawsuit filed by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand — whom Cosby is criminally accused of sexually assaulting in 2004 — the icon purportedly said he used quaaludes in previous encounters with women.
However, Cosby’s lawyers argue that Constand and another unnamed woman expected to testify against Cosby gave only vague descriptions about the pills the comedian gave them and they did not identify them as quaaludes.
Cosby, in the deposition, said he had gotten seven prescriptions for quaaludes in the 1970s to give women before sex. He said he did not use quaaludes or other drugs himself.
The powerful sedative was banned in the U.S. in 1983, and Cosby said he no longer had any on hand when he befriended Constand 20 years later, according to Newser.com.
“Quaaludes have not been available in this country for two decades,” McMonagle and Agrusa wrote in court documents. “Any discussion of quaaludes would only divert the jury away from its duty of weighing the evidence as to Constand, the only alleged victim.”
Cosby allegedly offered Constand an educational fund in a taped phone call made days after she accused him of sexual misconduct in early 2005, according to prosecutors.
Constand’s mother told him they just wanted an apology and then her daughter went to police and sued Cosby when prosecutors at the time declined to press charges.
A new prosecutor reopened the case in 2015 after Cosby’s deposition became public and more women came forward.
Cosby, 79, will go to trial June 5 on charges that he drugged and assaulted Constand at his home not far from Temple University. Since 2014, dozens of women have publicly made similar accusations, but recent lawsuits they’ve filed have been dismissed.
The judge in the criminal trial has already ruled that just one of the women can testify in the upcoming trial.
Cosby has pleaded not guilty to all charges.