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Bill Cosby Got Quaaludes From Gynecologist To The Stars

Cosby (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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A Hollywood doctor allegedly prescribed Bill Cosby quaaludes numerous times during the 1970s, despite knowing that the entertainer had no intention of using the drugs himself and instead intended to dispense them to others.

Leroy Amar—a disgraced gynecologist and plastic surgeon—allegedly gave Cosby easy access to quaaludes, the drug the entertainer has admitted to using when he wanted to have sex with women. Cosby's source for the drug—known for inducing disorientation and euphoria— emerged after a 10-year-old deposition from a closed sexual-assault civil case against Cosby surfaced, according to The Washington Post. Amar, who ran in the same Hollywood social circles as Cosby, is said to have provided him seven prescriptions for the drug, supposedly for a sore back. However, in the deposition, Cosby admits that Amar knew he had no intention of taking them himself. Cosby also admits to being fully aware that it was illegal for him to give the drugs to others.

During the 1970s, Amar had an ownership stake in “Club Bayou,” a private social club in Los Angeles that Cosby frequented, according to his deposition. However, the details of exactly how the two men met are still unclear. Besides providing the comedian with prescriptions for quaaludes, the doctor apparently confronted Cosby about his alleged inappropriate behavior with Tamara Green, who the doctor said he introduced to Cosby. During the deposition, Cosby denies meeting Green during a singing audition arranged by Amar. According to an attorney questioning Cosby, Amar was furious when he heard later that Cosby allegedly gave wine to Green during the audition and made her feel “very uncomfortable” by asking her to speak song lyrics directly into his face. Amar was said to have confronted Cosby in Green's presence, and the two men almost came to blows, according to the account.

Cosby's attorneys have recently issued a statement saying that the media has mischaracterized his deposition as an admission of drugging and rape. Instead, they say he merely admitted to using the quaaludes, prescribed by Amar, as everybody else was at the time, “There are countless tales of celebrities, music stars and wealthy socialites in the 1970s willingly using Quaaludes for recreational purposes and during consensual sex."

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Amar, who died in 2001 at the age of 71, had a long history of unscrupulous prescriptions and criminal ineptitude when it came to practicing medicine. While practicing in California, New York and Maryland, he regularly faced trouble with medical authorities and periodically lost his license. Meldon S. Hollis, Jr., a former Washington-area lawyer who at one time represented the physician and later blamed him for the loss of his law license, told the Washington Post that Amar was unscrupulous, "I would not doubt in a minute that Amar would sign a prescription to give anybody anything they wanted. That's just the way he was."

California disciplinary records for Amar revealed that he often signed off on “dangerous” drugs without even seeing the patient. He also helped an unlicensed business partner to practice medicine. In 1979, the California medical board also revoked Amar's license for gross incompetence and negligence. Amar practiced plastic surgery for a time, despite admitting to investigators that he wasn't fully qualified. He reportedly performed many botched operations, which left women with "deformed, hardened or uneven breasts."

For decades, Amar faced numerous conflicts with medical boards, during which he was placed on probation and had his license revoked and reinstated. He also faced legal trouble for tax evasion. In 2001, the physician died in Los Angeles.