Bill Cosby is suing his Pennsylvania sexual assault accuser, her mother, her attorney, and the National Enquirer's parent company for breach of contract, according to court records that were only partially unsealed on Wednesday.
Because the full complaint against Andrea Constand, which was sealed on Feb. 1, has not been released, it was not immediately clear what claims Cosby is making.
But the Associated Press reported Thursday that Cosby wants Constand repay a confidential sex-abuse settlement because she cooperated with authorities who reopened the criminal case last year. That, he contends, means Constand and her attorney, Dolores Troiani, violated confidentiality clauses covering the settlement that was reached after they filed lawsuits against Cosby and the Enquirer in 2005.
AMI spokesperson released this statement in response to the lawsuit: "Mr. Cosby has apparently decided his best legal defense is to sue one of his alleged victims and The National ENQUIRER, a publication that has been unflinching in its coverage of allegations against Mr. Cosby beginning in 2000 when everyone else avoided the story. We are confident that when the court reviews his claims against the ENQUIRER, it will find them to be without merit."
Cosby's attorney declined to comment on the lawsuit, as did Troiani.
In a motion filed in July in federal court, Cosby's attorney, Patrick J. O’Connor, stated that a 2006 settlement agreement required both Constand and her attorneys to keep details of the litigation quiet, “including the requirement to keep depositions and other documents confidential.”
"Far from using their ‘best efforts’ to ensure compliance with the confidentiality provisions, plaintiff and her counsel appear to have made no effort whatsoever. Such a cavalier attitude to the confidentiality of Defendant’s deposition is … in direct violation of the confidentiality provisions to which she freely consented," O’Connor wrote.
This latest filing by Cosby came the day before the comedian's criminal pretrial regarding the alleged 2004 attack on Constand, who accuses him of drugging and sexually assaulting her at his suburban mansion in 2004 after meeting him at Temple University.
The next hearing in that case is set for March 8.
More than 40 women have publicly accused Cosby of sexual assault, but he has steadfastly denied the allegations. The statute of limitations for many of the allegations has also passed.
Claudia Rosenbaum is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Claudia Rosenbaum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.