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Cosby loses court bid to reseal evidence

Associated Press logo Associated Press 15/08/2016

A federal appeals court has rejected Bill Cosby's effort to reseal his testimony about extramarital affairs, prescription sedatives and payments to women.

The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia on Monday ruled that the the documents are now a matter of public knowledge.

"We cannot pretend that we could change that fact by ordering them resealed," the court wrote.

Cosby's lawyers hoped a ruling in their favour could help them keep the documents from being used in the criminal case against him in Pennsylvania and in the many lawsuits filed around the country by women who accuse him of sexual assault or defamation.

Cosby gave the testimony in 2005 as part of a lawsuit brought against him by Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee who said he drugged and molested her at his home.

She later settled for an undisclosed sum, and sensitive documents in the file were sealed.

In the nearly 1000-page deposition, the married comic once known as "America's Dad" for his portrayal of Dr Cliff Huxtable on his top-ranked 1980s TV show, The Cosby Show, admitted several extramarital affairs and said he obtained quaaludes to give to women he hoped to seduce.

The documents were released last year on a request from The Associated Press.

In court papers, Cosby's lawyers argued that he had been assured confidentiality and that the "private and embarrassing testimony" would cause serious injury to Cosby, "who relies upon his reputation for his livelihood".

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