‘Cosby Show’ Alum Joseph C. Phillips to Bill: ‘Please Go Live a Quiet Country Life’
Willie Grace | 7/16/2015, 12:20 p.m.
Actor Joseph C. Phillips, a former EURweb contributor who starred as Navy Lt. Martin Kendall on “The Cosby Show,” has written an essay about his boyhood idol Bill Cosby, and coming to the realization that he is indeed “guilty” of drugging women with whom he wanted to have sex.
In the essay, titled “Of Course Bill Cosby is Guilty,” Phillips begins by recalling his admiration of the veteran entertainer 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.
He writes about the “parade” of women who Bill would have on set at “The Cosby Show” – all “light-skinned” with “good” hair, Phillips noted.
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.
Phillips writes about what Cosby’s wife Camille must’ve thought during those days. He figured she had to have known about the other women, but “had long ago made her peace with it.”
I am also of the opinion that some women who are married to prominent men strike a deal with themselves. They believe that, for men, the act of sex is removed from love. The bargain they make is that as long as their husbands continue to bring home the checks and don’t bring home any babies or diseases, they will overlook any dalliances. So, in 1989, my attitude was that if Bill was cheating on Camille, I am fairly certain Camille knew.
He also writes about a female friend who recently revealed to Phillips that she, too, was sexually abused by Cosby.
Through tears, she told me her story. She cursed him for violating both her trust and her body. She cursed herself for not being smarter, and for degrading herself in pursuit of success. I listened patiently. As she began to run out of steam, she turned to me. “Do you believe me?”
“Yes.” I said. “I believe you.”
“Why?” she asked.
“Because I don’t believe that you are crazy and only a crazy person would sit with me all this time and share a fantasy.”
He ends the essay with a plea to his former idol:
Bill, you have a family who loves you, a wife who is devoted to you; you have more money than you can spend. Please, go live a quiet country life. Allow those of us who truly love you to preserve just a bit of our enchantment.
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