Lawyer: Cosby expects to be cleared and resume career

BOSTON (AP) — Bill Cosby expects to be cleared of a criminal sexual assault charge and restart his entertainment career, his lawyer argues in a defamation lawsuit filed against him by seven women.

Attorney Angela Agrusa is urging a judge to seal documents that contain information about Cosby’s negotiated compensation for his performances and other personal financial information.

The women suing Cosby in federal court in Massachusetts argue that he has no future in show business and 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.”

Approximately 50 women have come forward since 2014 and claimed 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, forced unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. In Pennsylvania, Cosby has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a former Temple University employee.

Cosby, 79, also faces several lawsuits around the country filed by women who allege he defamed them when he publicly branded them as liars through statements made by his attorneys or other representatives.

Cosby, who has been married for decades, has generally denied the women’s accusations, and the statute of limitations has expired in most of the cases against him.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.