Bill Cosby may be television's favorite dad, but that favoritism shouldn't extend into the courtroom.
That was the message conveyed by lawyers for a woman suing Cosby for sexual assault, who argued Monday that the actor-comedian reaped the benefits of "celebrity justice" in November when a Philadelphia judge granted his request to seal court documents related to discovery in the civil suit against him.
Delores Troiani, the alleged victim's lead attorney, pointed out that Cosby has given at least three media interviews about the case and even joked about it during a performance, yet has still managed to keep the court documents sealed.
"We are being prejudiced. Mr. Cosby went out and sought publicity," Troiani stated. "Mr. Cosby is not entitled to star treatment."
Cosby's lawyer contended that the woman's legal team only wanted depositions and other motions unsealed so as to release "incriminating" and "salacious" information to the public.
"They're attempting to destroy a man's reputation before trial," attorney Patrick O'Connor said.
Neither Cosby nor his accuser was present for the hearing.
Lawyers for the Associated Press also asked U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno to unseal the court documents.
The judge did not immediately rule following the two-hour hearing, but promised to do so "promptly."
Robreno has previously denied Cosby's request for a gag order over the case and the plaintiffs' request to shield the names of 12 other women who say Cosby assaulted them.
The case against Cosby began last year after his accuser filed a lawsuit alleging that the actor had drugged her and sexually assaulted her at his suburban Philadelphia home in January 2004.
The woman, a former Temple University employee in her early 30s, claimed she accompanied Cosby home following a group dinner. She said he gave her some pills that made her dizzy and then touched her breasts and placed her hand on his genitals.
Cosby's attorneys have claimed he gave the woman Benadryl after she complained of stress and sleeping problems, but deny that he touched her improperly.
(The woman has been named in court documents, but it is E! Online's policy not to identify alleged sexual assault victims without their consent.)
In February 2005, prosecutors declined to file charges against Cosby, citing a lack of evidence in the case.
Cosby subsequently gave the National Enquirer an interview, in which he denied any wrongdoing in the matter, but issued something of an apology in the event that any of his words or actions had been "misinterpreted."
In March 2005, the alleged victim filed a civil lawsuit against Cosby, accusing him not only of sexual assault, but of defaming her via the Enquirer interview.
The civil suit also contains allegations of battery, infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.
Since the initial accuser filed her complaint, 12 other women have offered to testify against the television personality, alleging that they, too, were groped or assaulted by Cosby.
No trial date has been set in the civil suit.