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Cosby Tried To Keep Sex Assault Claims Secret

Cosby admitted to the exchange when he testified under oath in September of that year. Excerpts from the deposition were released on Wednesday.

The comedian was facing a civil lawsuit filed by Andrea Constand, who accused him of sexually molesting her. The National Enquirer had an interview with a second accuser, Beth Ferrier, who made similar claims.

Cosby said he had been given a draft of Ms Ferrier's interview with the Enquirer and was told she had passed its lie detector test.

He said he feared the public would believe Ms Constand’s sexual-assault accusations if the Enquirer published similar claims by a second woman.

"Did you ever think that if Beth Ferrier's story was printed in the National Enquirer, that that would make the public believe that maybe Andrea was also telling the truth?" Cosby was asked.

"Exactly," Cosby replied, according to court motions initially filed under seal.

Cosby, in the deposition, said he had a contract with the Enquirer.

"I would give them an exclusive story, my words," he said.

In return, "they would not print the story of - print Beth's story."

Cosby has refused to discuss allegations raised in recent weeks by numerous women that he had sexually assaulted them decades ago.

Some claimed they were drugged and then molested.

Cosby's lawyers have said the allegations were "discredited" and "defamatory" and the comedian has not been charged. 

He has previously settled a civil suit with Ms Constand.

The allegations have threatened Cosby's wholesome public image and future in show business, as several of his projects have been scrapped.

The actor's downfall has jolted generations of Americans who knew and liked him, most notably as the lovable father Dr Cliff Huxtable on the hit NBC comedy The Cosby Show.

© Sky News, 2014