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Enquirer Wants to Shield Deal With Cosby Accuser

PHILADELPHIA (CN) - The National Enquirer wants a federal judge to keep a lid on the terms of its settlement with a woman accusing Bill Cosby of drugging and raping her.

The settlement dates back to October 2006, about six months after Andrea Constand sued the Enquirer and Cosby's attorney, Martin Singer, for defamation.

Constand is the same woman behind the aggravated indecent assault charge 78-year-old Cosby faces now in Pennsylvania.

She first spoke out about her supposed attack in 2005, a year after it happened. Though prosecutors did not charge Cosby at the time, she did sue Cosby civilly.

It is those civil proceedings that brought a particularly incriminating deposition from Cosby - in which the comedian admitted to buying quaaludes to give to women before having sex with them.

Constand's suit against the Enquirer and Singer meanwhile complained about a February 2005 article that purportedly painted her as an extortionist.

A settlement put the case to bed, but its particulars may resurface as part of a newer defamation suit against Cosby led by Tamara Green in Massachusetts.

The subpoena of Constand's attorney, Dolores Troiani, prompted American Media Inc., the Enquirer's parent company, to file a motion to intervene in the federal case last week.

Citing its "protected privacy interest" in the price tag of the settlement it paid Constand, AMI wants all negotiation and settlement details redacted from the case file being subpoenaed.

The offending Enquirer article included an exclusive interview with Cosby.

"I am not going to give in to people who try to exploit me because of my celebrity status," Cosby told the Enquirer.

Singer was quoted as lamenting the case as a "classic shakedown."

Green and the other women suing Cosby for defamation complain about similar treatment in the press.

AMI acted quickly when it got wind of the subpoena, filing its motion "eight days after learning that its interests were at stake in the matter."

The media group further contends that disclosure of its confidential settlement with Constand would adversely affect it.

Third Circuit precedent has "repeatedly recognized the privacy interest that private litigants have in confidential settlement agreements," the motion states.

The very language of the agreement between AMI and Constand "explicitly protects" it from disclosure to third parties, the publisher argues.

It "further [states] that 'no amount of monetary relief could repair the harm' caused by a violation of confidentiality provisions," according to the motion.

AMI says granting its motion would not interfere with the Massachusetts libel suit against Cosby, AMI says.

The comedian is himself attempting to delay that litigation, though.

On Tuesday, he filed moved to stay the Massachusetts civil case against him until his criminal trial in Pennsylvania concludes.

AMI is represented in the motion by Daniel Segal of Philadelphia firm Hangley, Aronchick, Segal, Pudlin & Schiller.

His office has not returned a phone call seeking comment.


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