BOSTON — Bill Cosby expects to be cleared of criminal sexual assault charges and restart his entertainment career, his lawyer argues in a lawsuit filed against him by seven of his accusers.
Attorney Angela Agrusa, who also is part of his defense team on charges of aggravated indecent assault in Pennsylvania, is urging a federal judge in Massachusetts to seal documents that contain information about Cosby's negotiated compensation for his performances and other personal financial information.
The women suing Cosby for defamation in Massachusetts argue that he has no future in show business and thus won't be hurt by disclosing that information.
But Agrusa, in a written response filed Thursday, called that claim "baseless."
"When Mr. Cosby is cleared from all liability and charges ... he expects to resume his career, and there is no reason to believe otherwise," she wrote. "But disclosure of this type of financial and business information is irreversible. Even after his name is cleared, if released to the public, this information would improperly restrain his employment and tie his hands for renegotiation."
Cosby's once sterling career has been virtually destroyed since dozens of women have come forward, starting in 2014,claiming that Cosby, once known as America's Dad for his beloved portrayal of Dr. Cliff Huxtable on his top-ranked The Cosby Show in the 1980s and '90s, drugged and/or raped them in episodes dating back decades.
In Pennsylvania's Montgomery County outside Philadelphia, Cosby has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a former Temple University employee at his home in 2004. He says the encounter was consensual; she says he drugged her and molested her. A trial date is set for no later than June 2017.
Cosby has repeatedly attempted and failed to get the charges dismissed, citing among other grounds that he is now nearly blind and would not be able to see or recognize witnesses, especially after decades.
Besides the sole criminal case, Cosby, 79, also faces several lawsuits around the country filed by accusers who allege he defamed them when he publicly branded them as liars through statements made by his attorneys or other representatives in denying their accusations.
Cosby, who has been married for decades, has strongly rejected the women's accusations, and the statute of limitations has expired in most of the cases against him.
© 2017 Associated Press