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Cosby’s lawyer says he won’t submit to blood test

July 1, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ Bill Cosby has refused to take a blood test to determine whether he is the father of the woman accused of trying to extort $40 million from him.

Autumn Jackson, 22, of Los Angeles, is accused of threatening to go public with her allegation that Cosby is her father if she was not paid.

Jury selection in her trial is set to begin Monday.

Prosecutors have asked U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones to bar Ms. Jackson’s attorney from asking about the possibility that Cosby is her father. Prosecutors agree with Cosby’s attorney that the paternity issue has no bearing on the extortion case.

Cosby has admitted having an affair with Ms. Jackson’s mother. He says he does not believe he is her father but concedes that he could be and acknowledges that he supported her financially until she left school.

In an exchange of letters about the blood test, Cosby’s lawyer, Andrew Schau, told Ms. Jackson’s lawyer, Robert Baum: ``The identity of Ms. Jackson’s father is not relevant to Ms. Jackson’s guilt or innocence of the crimes with which she has been charged.″

The letters were released by Baum. Schau said today he expected more requests by the defense as lawyers ``try to create distractions that are not legally relevant.″

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