What public records disclosed about Bill Cosby last week regarding the purchasing of Quaaludes apparently comes as no surprise to his wife, Camille. According to two of the couple’s confidants, Camille was aware of his philandering but believes the women consented to drugs and sex.
An article by Stacy Brown in Sunday’s New York Post—which we quote with reservations—quoted a source employed by the Cosby family as saying, “Camille still doesn’t believe that Bill provided drugs and had sex with women without their consent. She’s well aware of his cheating, but she doesn’t believe that her husband is a rapist.”
Camille Cosby, 71, “is a proud, dignified but stubborn woman. You can see that she’s standing by her husband, but really, the more people stand against him, the more she perceives it as an affront to her and all that she’s done to make him a star,” another source told the Post. She is possibly referring to her role as his business partner for a half century.
Her husband’s affairs, it is further related, stopped embarrassing her long ago. Instead, she is angered by the “invasion of privacy.” The infidelities were “personal, between Bill and I [sic],” she is said to have told close friends. “You have to allow for space to let your partner do what he wants. I have done that and [Bill] has done that and there’s no jealousy, no friction.”
If all this is true, then the couple has given open marriage a fresh turn.
The reports that have provoked Camille Cosby’s response erupted last week after the Associated Press was able to secure portions of a trial transcript from back in 2006.
Bill Cosby’s admission of acquiring Quaaludes comes from a sworn deposition during questioning by attorney Dolores Troiani for her client, Andrea Constand, in 2005. Constand, who like dozens of other women, accused Cosby of sexual assault.
“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?” Troiani asked.
“Yes,” Cosby replied.
“Did you ever give any of those young women the Quaaludes without their knowledge?” the attorney continued.
At this point, Cosby’s attorney interceded and told him not to answer the question.
Although Cosby, 77, has admitted he acquired the Quaaludes intending to use them for sexual purposes, he has not admitted to actually drugging any of the women. After Cosby said he had given the drugs to other people, his attorney again stepped in and said he had only given them to the woman whose name is redacted in the lawsuit.
His attorneys cited two women who “allegedly say they knowingly took Quaaludes offered to them” by Cosby in the late 1970s, one of them is former model Therese Serignese, who admitted as much publicly. Other accusers have stated that the comedian used coffee, soft drinks, wine and other beverages to drug them.
The deposition obtained by the AP is about a case filed against him by a former Temple University employee. Cosby testified that he gave her three half-pills of Benadryl. That case was settled for an undisclosed amount.
U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno, who unsealed the court documents, said he did so because of the disconnect between Cosby’s upright morality and the allegations against him.
“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,” Robreno wrote in a memorandum Monday.
Unsealing the documents, according to several attorneys, constitutes a violation of Cosby’s privacy. Attempts to reach David Brokaw, Cosby’s publicist, were unsuccessful.
Cosby faces no criminal charges and none of the accusers’ allegations fall within the statute of limitations.
According to the judge, Cosby has made himself part of public issues and has “voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy that he is entitled to claim.”
To some extent, this zone was explored and expropriated by comedian Hannibal Buress last year. “Bill Cosby has the … smuggest old Black man public persona that I hate,” Buress said onstage last October. “He gets on TV: ‘Pull your pants up, Black people, I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom.’ Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches … I guess I want to just at least make it weird for you to watch ‘Cosby Show’ reruns.”
It will be interesting to see how these new revelations are worked by Buress since he launched his own TV series on Comedy Central last week. During an interview, Buress has indicated that the Cosby topic is now passe.