Bill Cosby Details His Manipulation of Women Using Power, Mentorship, and Drugs

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Photo: Nancy Kaszerman/Corbis

The New York Times has obtained and released portions of the 1,000-page transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave over four days in 2005 and 2006, under oath, as part of a lawsuit by Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee who had accused Cosby of drugging and raping her. That case was settled out of court of 2006, but earlier this month, a federal judge unsealed many documents related to the case, which showed that Cosby had admitted to procuring quaaludes in order to give to women he wanted to have sex with, as well as offering payoffs to his accusers. Now even more details have been uncovered in the transcript, which the Times obtained through a court reporting service.

In their summary of the deposition, the Times reports that Cosby presents himself "as an unapologetic, cavalier playboy, someone who used a combination of fame, apparent concern and powerful sedatives in a calculated pursuit of young women.” The Times also describes Cosby’s manner in discussing these matters as "one of casual indifference,” noting that "the entertainer comes across as alternately annoyed, mocking, occasionally charming and sometimes boastful, often blithely describing sexual encounters in graphic detail."

In the transcript, Cosby elaborates on his skill and strategies for seducing women, and describes some of the resulting encounters, which he sometimes simply refers to as “rendezvous.” Cosby says, when insisting that his sexual encounter with Ms. Constand was consensual, “I think I’m a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things, whatever you want to call them.” 

However, he also admits to giving quaaludes to women in the '70s, “the same as a person would say have a drink,” but when asked if he thought one of the women he admitted giving quaaludes to, Therese Serignese, was even able to consent to sex after taking the drug, Cosby responds, "I don’t know.” (Ms. Serignese had said she was too incapacitated to have be able to give consent.) Cosby also indicates that he doesn't like quaaludes himself because they make him sleepy, and the only reason he ever had them was to give them to women he wanted to have sex with.

When detailing his relationships, Cosby shares some of his playbook for seducing and manipulating women, including asking a 19-year-old about her deceased father, or, in the case of Ms. Constand, "Inviting her to my house, talking to her about personal situations dealing with her life, growth, education,” and then slowing reeling her in by playing the role of an experienced, helpful, and connected mentor. In the examples the Times cite, Cosby makes it clear he only wanted sex and did not care for the women, and yet he also claims that he tried to avoid sexual intercourse because he was afraid that would make women more likely to fall in love with him.

In addition, Cosby recounts the various ways he tried to hide his affairs from his wife, like funneling money to Ms. Serignese though his agent, or blocking a tabloid article about one of his accusers. He also worried, after Ms. Constand accused him of drugging and raping her, that Ms. Constand’s mother would think he was a “dirty old man."

At no point in the deposition does Cosby ever admit to sexually assaulting any of the women he discusses, and he has always denied any accusations suggesting otherwise. 36 women have now come forward to accuse Cosby of inappropriate sexual behavior, and though he has never been charged in any of those cases, he is facing civil claims from three women, and Los Angeles police are in the process of investigating a complaint of a sexual nature against him.