Cosby wants files in defamation case to be kept secret
A US magistrate will consider if materials gathered in a defamation case filed by seven women against comedian Bill Cosby (inset) can be kept out of the public eye.
The hearing in federal court will focus on a confidentiality agreement that Cosby's lawyers are proposing in the case by the women, who are among dozens who say he sexually assaulted them decades ago.
The proposal calls for depositions and other documents subpoenaed or produced during the pre-trial discovery phase to remain confidential for 14 days.
Either side would then be allowed to request that the judge seal the records for longer, but the records would remain sealed until the judge decided on the extension, according to the proposal.
Cosby's lawyers say in their legal briefs they are proposing the order because lawyers for the seven women seek "irrelevant and extraordinarily invasive and intimate details" of Cosby's life and "have made clear they intend to publicise every aspect of discovery in the case".
Among the information being sought are the identities of all Cosby's sexual partners since 1968 who were not his wife, the dates of the sexual encounters and all Cosby's medical records over the past 35 years, including those specifically dealing with "erectile and/or other sexual dysfunction, sexual paraphilia and/or sexual fetish", according to Cosby's lawyers.
But Joseph Cammarata, a lawyer for the women, argues the proposed order would damage transparency in a case of great public interest.
On December 30, Cosby, who played Dr Cliff Huxtable on 'The Cosby Show' from 1984 to 1992, was charged in Pennsylvania with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman inside his home near Philadelphia in 2004. It is the first criminal case brought against him.