The dressing-room dinners where Cosby entertained Thompson are one setting in a kind of parallel world of pursuit, seduction and clandestine sex that the comedian constructed as he was also crafting a public image as the ultimate family man and a rumpled, comic father figure. In more than 900 pages of deposition transcripts, a profile comes into focus of a man who for decades used his celebrity status to pursue women looking for mentors and eager for help in their careers.

Prior to the deposition’s release, Cosby had rarely publicly addressed the claims of his accusers. Now his own words have provided a detailed excursion into the hidden life of a world-famous public figure.