[Ed. – A lot of us cry with you and your friend, Joseph.]
While growing up, I watched everything Bill Cosby did. My father had several of his comedy albums; I memorized them backwards and forwards. Bill was one of two comics that I imitated and memorized. Richard Pryor was the other. I owe my sense of humor to Bill Cosby. However, for me, Bill Cosby was more than a comedian. Bill was my idea of a great man – a great Black man! He was good looking, talented, smart, and he was fearless. The Cos was a ladies man, but also good father and husband – devoted to his wife and children. Bill was educated; he collected art and was fluent in jazz. After my father, Bill Cosby was the man I aspired to be. Few get an opportunity to meet their idol, much less work with them. I was blessed in that regard, and even more blessed that I found my idol as clever, kind, and brilliant as I had imagined. …
When I joined the cast of the Cosby Show in 1989, it seemed to be common knowledge that Bill played around. When I say common knowledge, I mean that it was just something that people seemed to know without anyone saying anything. Bill sleeping around was a “fact” that, like, the air, seemed to just be. You didn’t have to see it or hear it to know that it existed.
So, in 1989, my attitude was that if Bill was cheating on Camille, I am fairly certain Camille knew. … At any rate, it was none of my business. I never saw Bill engage in any inappropriate behavior. I certainly never saw him drug anyone. So, all I have is the same gossip as everyone else.
As the accusations began to increase, I became increasingly disturbed. I was fairly certain that some of the women were lying through their teeth, but certainly not all of them. Discovering that the man you idolize may be a serial rapist is a bit traumatic. I don’t imagine it is anything near to the trauma of the alleged victims. Nevertheless, I found it unsettling.
I was particularly shaken the afternoon I bumped into an old friend while shopping. The controversy was at its height.