Bill Cosby’s lawyers have been accused of attempting to “victim shame” one of the women accusing Cosby of sexual assault by trying to question her sexuality.
Andrea Constand, who is gay, is one of 40 women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault.
In court documents, it was revealed that Constand was allegedly assaulted by the 73-year-old entertainer in 2004.
The woman says that she was given pills by Cosby and later woke up with her clothes askew.
The documents also revealed that Cosby believed the sexual contact to be consensual.
However, Constand’s lawyer, Dolores Troiani, challenged this, writing: “Despite his talent for interpreting female reactions to him, he did not realize plaintiff was gay until the police told him.”
Days before the sex-assault trial against Cosby began, his lawyers announced that they were seeking to grill Constand about her sexual orientation.
The former comedian’s lawyer, Brian McMonagle, said that they had found evidence of an alleged relationship between Constand and a “male celebrity athlete”.
McMonagle reportedly told Just Steven O’Neill in a closed-door meeting with prosecutors that Constand allegedly had a relationship with a male in the year following Cosby’s attack.
The lawyer said: “We believe that this tells a very interesting story about what the heck is going on here.
“I’m assuming detectives tried to see whether or not this was a pattern on her part of chasing celebrities.”
The defence motion was denied by the judge and described as an “age-old tactic of victim shaming”.
“There exists absolutely no logical connection between the defendant’s guilt and Ms. Constand’s relationship status, her sexual orientation or her past partners,” prosecutor Kevin Steele said.
Defence lawyers have not been barred from discussing Constand’s sexuality.
They have also been prevented from discussing her former relationships.
Cosby denies all wrongdoing.