Jurors at Bill Cosby’s sex assault trial can hear his explosive deposition testimony about quaaludes but not his references to the supposed aphrodisiac Spanish fly, a judge ruled Friday.
The 79-year-old Cosby is accused of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He calls the encounter consensual.
In the decade-old deposition, Cosby said he got seven prescriptions for quaaludes in the 1970s, intending not to take them himself but to give them to women he was pursuing for sex, according to an NBC News report.
The powerful sedatives were banned in 1983, and Cosby said he no longer had them when he met Constand 20 years later, NBC News reported. Defense lawyers had pushed to exclude his testimony about quaaludes from the trial.
Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill also ruled Friday to exclude from Cosby’s trial references to Constand’s lawsuit or the settlement. Jury selection is set to start May 22, and opening arguments are set for June 5.
Cosby settled Constand’s lawsuit for an undisclosed sum after giving four days of deposition testimony. He has pleaded not guilty in the criminal case, which prosecutors reopened in 2015 after key parts of the deposition were unsealed.
Prosecutors had sought to include Cosby’s comedic riffs about Cantharidin, or Spanish fly, to show a familiarity with date-rape drugs. The defense called the references, in his 1991 book “Childhood” and a Larry King interview that same year, nothing more than fanciful stories about adolescence.
Spanish fly reportedly is made from a green beetle of the same name, in the family of blister beetles, and has been sold as an aphrodisiac.
In the book, Cosby says he and his adolescent friends needed the potion to get girls interested in them.
“They’re never in the mood for us,” Cosby wrote. “They need chemicals.”
In an exclusive statement given to BlackPressUSA.com this week, Cosby’s daughter, Evin, said her dad is innocent.
“He is not abusive, violent or a rapist,” she said. “Sure, like many celebrities tempted by opportunity, he had his affairs, but that was between him and my mother. They have worked through it and moved on, and I am glad they did for them and for our family.
“The harsh and hurtful accusations of things that supposedly happened 40 or 50 years ago, before I was born, in another lifetime, and that have been carelessly repeated as truth without allowing my dad to defend himself and without requiring proof, has punished not just my dad but every one of us,” she said.
Cosby, also in an exclusive interview with BlackPressUSA.com, alluded to those who have concluded that he’s guilty but have yet to learn all of the facts.
“The history about African-Americans is a history of the United States — but the true histories, not the propaganda that is standard in our nation’s history books,” Cosby said. “The great writer, James Baldwin, said, ‘If you lie about me, then you lie about yourself.’ The revolution is in the home. There is something about someone saying, ‘I didn’t know that,’ that could cause a change in that person’s thinking.”