3 Big Takeaways From the New York Times' Exposé on Bill Cosby
On Saturday, the New York Times published excerpts from a 2005-2006 deposition in which comedian Bill Cosby, accused of raping dozens of women over the course of his decades-long entertainment career, spoke frankly about his views on sex and his sex life under questioning during a sexual battery civil lawsuit.
While the most major revelation from the deposition — that Cosby bought Quaaludes to give to young women he was planning on seducing or assaulting — was already known, there was plenty more to learn from the expanded excerpts released by the Times.
Here are three big takeaways from the account:
1. Cosby sought to portray himself as a suave, wealthy ladies' man.
In addition to talking at length about his numerous sexual encounters, Cosby said he was a "pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things, whatever you want to call them." He provided details about how he wooed women, particularly plaintiff Andrea Constand, whom he said he charmed by "inviting her to my house, talking to her about personal situations dealing with her life, growth, education."
Elsewhere, Cosby admitted to gaining the confidence of a woman named Beth Ferrier by talking to her about her dad's cancer. He said that extramarital encounters with other women were consensual, pointing to his aforementioned skill with the ladies as evidence. Cosby also explained that he bought Quaaludes because they were a hip party drug the beautiful young women he was seeking might be excited to take.
All these actions were completely contradictory to his well-known public moralizing on how young African-Americans are out of control.
2. He has some pretty disturbing views on consent.
Cosby's defense sounds an awful lot like he himself didn't understand basic concepts about consent — and that he believed his fame, charm and romantic prowess entitled him to sexual access to women.
According to the Times, Constand told her mother that Cosby had given her one and a half tablets of a drug he claimed was Benadryl and then had sex with her. Cosby said he thought to quell her concerns by telling Ms. Constand to "tell your mother about the orgasm. Tell your mother how we talked."
Elsewhere, Cosby stated that he did not drink alcohol but kept Quaaludes on hand for the same reason as "a person would say have a drink," suggesting that he deliberately remained sober during the alleged assaults.
Scientific studies have demonstrated many men don't consider real acts of sexual violence to actually be rape.
3. While he thinks his treatment of the women was OK, his self-described actions and views contradict.
During the deposition, Cosby said that he refrained from intercourse during his extramarital affairs, and referred to the act as "something that I feel the woman will succumb to more of a romance and more of a feeling, not love, but it's deeper than a playful situation."
But while Cosby pointed to his discretion about the relationships he maintained with other women, he blamed those same women for being "the first people to go and tell somebody after something has happened."
It's no small wonder. Cosby says he ended his relationship with Ferrier, who claims to have fallen asleep after drinking a coffee Cosby provided, and later awoke in a car in a state of undress, by simply not "calling for rendezvous" and because he was "just moving on" and didn't "want to see her anymore."
He also admitted to secretly paying off a woman to maintain her silence, and repeatedly called Constand a "liar" during the deposition. During all this, Cosby maintained that all this happened with the complete ignorance of his wife, saying he lied to her about why he was sending money to the woman.