A federal judge yesterday denied requests for protective orders for 10 Jane Does in the Bill Cosby civil suit.
"The Court finds that the allegations of harm by each of the Jane Doe witnesses are unsubstantiated broad allegations insufficient to establish good cause," U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno wrote in a motion denying the requests for protective orders.
The Jane Does had asked for anonymity. Their reasons included one who suffers from bipolar disorder and another who did not want to subject her elderly parents to a media frenzy.
But that doesn't mean their identities will necessarily become public, Robreno wrote. That's up to parties in the case.
"Because the court will not protect the identities, it does not mean that the parties are required to disclose them," he wrote.
"Pretrial discovery is ordinarily conducted in private, and its fruits are not made public unless they are filed (or made part of a filing) with the court. "
Ralph Jacobs, who represents Jane Doe No. 12 and who argued the motion on behalf of nine of the Jane Does, said he was disappointed in the ruling.
"But as I read the judge's order he pointed out that this kind of information is ordinarily not made public," Jacobs said. "It's up to Mr. Cosby and his lawyers to decide what they want to do. "
Andrew Schau, one of Cosby's attorneys, had no comment.
The dispute over the release of the identities of the Jane Does is part of a civil suit filed in Philadelphia against Cosby by Andrea Constand, 31. Constand, ex-director of operations for the Temple University women's basketball team, has accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her at his mansion in Cheltenham, Montgomery County, in January 2004.
Constand reported her allegations to police a year later, and in February authorities decided not to charge Cosby. In the meantime, 13 other women came forward and said Cosby had done something similar to them, and 10 of them did not want their identities released publicly.
The three others are: California attorney Tamara Green; ex-model Beth Ferrier, 46, Jane Doe No. 5; and Jane Doe No. 7, whose attorney, Joyce Dale, withdrew her request for anonymity at a hearing two weeks ago. Jane Doe No. 7 has not told her story publicly.
Ferrier has. Two weeks ago, Ferrier, of Denver, gave an exclusive interview to the Daily News, saying Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her 20 years ago after she ended a consensual relationship with him.
The remaining Jane Doe is No. 8. Constand's attorneys, Dolores Troiani and Bebe Kivitz, filed a motion on her behalf, asking the judge to give her until Nov. 1 to find an attorney and ask for a protective order herself. The witness' husband is undergoing a bone-marrow transplant, they said.
Judge Robreno denied their request yesterday, saying they did not have the authority to make such a request.
"Counsel has not entered an appearance on behalf of Jane Doe No. 8 and therefore is not authorized to represent her," he wrote.