His admission was kept under wraps for a decade. And Bill Cosby wanted it to stay that way.
But it was his own public stance as a moral evangelist that helped tip the scale for a judge this week. The judge decided to unseal documents revealing Cosby admitted, under oath, to getting drugs to give to women he wanted to have sex with.
For years, Cosby has espoused family values and chastised parts of society for a variety of issues, such as crime.
“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,” U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno wrote in his decision to release the documents.
The records were unsealed Monday after the Associated Press went to court asking for their release.
Cosby, 77, had fought the release, arguing it would violate his and others’ privacy and would be a source of embarrassment.
The ‘Pound Cake’ speech
The judge cited Cosby’s 2004 “Pound Cake” speech, in which the comedian lambasted some African-Americans for what he considered bad parenting, a lack of personal responsibility and inexplicable crime.
“Looking at the incarcerated, these are not political criminals,” Cosby said. “These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake! Then we all run out and are outraged: ‘The cops shouldn’t have shot him.’ What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?”
The speech was largely aimed at parents whose children end up behind bars.
“I’m talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was two?” Cosby said in 2004. “Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18, and how come you don’t know he had a pistol? And where is his father, and why don’t you know where he is? And why doesn’t the father show up to talk to this boy?”
Now, it’s Cosby who many believe is a criminal.
The bombshell admission
The unsealed deposition stemmed from a civil suit filed by Andrea Constand — one of the dozens of women who have publicly accused the Cosby of sexual assault.
In the sworn deposition, Constand’s attorney Dolores Troiani asked Cosby about the sedative drug Quaaludes.
“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?” Troiani asked.
Cosby’s attorney objected and told him not to answer the question.
While Cosby admitted that he acquired seven prescriptions of Quaaludes with the intent to give the sedatives to young women he wanted to have sex with, he has not admitted to actually drugging any of his accusers.
While Cosby’s attorneys cite two women who “allegedly say that they knowingly took Quaaludes offered to them by Defendant in the late 1970’s” — one of them being former model Theresa Serignese, who has shared her accusations publicly — they do not address the numerous women who say they were given pills for a variety of reasons, including to “cheer up.”
Several women allege Cosby used cappuccino, soft drinks, wine or other beverages as vehicles to drug them, but accusers Constand, Serignese, Janice Dickinson, Tamara Green, Victoria Valentino, Donna Motsinger and a woman identified only as Chelan have alleged Cosby gave them capsules or pills — sometimes billing them as medication — before assaulting them.
Cosby’s side: No comment
CNN has attempted to reach a lawyer and publicist for Cosby in response to the latest revelations, but without success.
“We have no plans to issue a statement,” Cosby’s longtime publicist David Brokaw said.
More than 25 women have publicly accused Cosby of raping or assaulting them over the past 40 years. The comedian has never been criminally charged and has vehemently denied wrongdoing.
And in most of the cases, it’s unlikely Cosby will ever be prosecuted because the statute of limitations has passed.
Several women who have accused Cosby told CNN they felt vindicated by the released information.
“It’s huge. I’ve worked so long and hard to tell my story and screamed my story onto deaf ears,” said Barbara Bowman, who said Cosby assaulted her numerous times beginning in the late 1980s.
Joan Tarshis, who said Cosby raped her when she was 19, said she “never thought this day would happen.”
“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,” she said. “I’m just so relieved that the truth has come out.”
By Holly Yan
CNN’s Eliott C. McLaughlin, Dana Ford, Boris Sanchez and Anne Woolsey contributed to this report.