Actor Joseph C. Phillips, is known for his role as son-in-law Martin Kendall on “The Cosby Show”. The actor turned blogger recently became the first cast member from the show to admit Bill Cosby is indeed a rapist.
In a recent blog post titled “Of Course Bill Cosby is Guilty” the actor puts Cosby to shame as he reveals that the entire show’s cast knew of his infidelity to Camille, and how Phillips himself had an encounter with one of Cosby’s 30+ victims.
Phillips starts and ends the blog post with nothing but admiration for Bill and the legacy he created, but doesn’t shy away from the truth.
“I love Bill Cosby! Honestly, that phrase may not be enough to sufficiently describe my feelings for Bill. He was my boyhood idol. His influence on my life has been profound. I owe much of who I am to Bill Cosby, so the idea of love seems to fall short of exactly how I feel. It may be that I need more than one word: Adulation! Regard! Devotedness! And yet, I remain inarticulate.
In 2014 a series of accusations hit the public consciousness. A number of women stepped forward to claim that the great Bill Cosby had behaved inappropriately with them – groping, propositioning, and exposing himself. There were also a number of women who leveled far more serious accusations. These women claimed that Bill had drugged them and had sex with them while they were unconscious. On the street and in the courtroom, that is called rape.
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.
He then detailed a recent encounter he had with an actress who admitted that she too had been assaulted by Bill.
As we spoke, I recalled that Bill had been her mentor (play father, teacher…something. I couldn’t quite recall what it was). The question popped into my head.
“Hey, do you mind if I ask you something?”
She looked at me and then asked, “Is it going to make me cry?”
I was a bit taken aback. “Well,” I stammered. “I hope it doesn’t make you cry.”
She smiled. “Go ahead and ask your question.”
“Back in the day,” I started. “I remember that you knew Bill – that he was like your mentor or something. Did he ever…”
Before I finished the sentence, she began to cry.
We spent the next two hours sitting on a bench talking. 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.”
I’ve done a lot of thinking over these weeks. The good Bill has done over the years is real and enduring. I am not prepared to simply dismiss his brilliance, his wisdom, or his legacy. You see, all of that is a part of who I am as a man – as a Black man. I am not going to toss all of that away, at least not yet. It seems to me that one should be able to look with sober eyes and yet hold on to those elements of substance that are both true and comforting.
Over the weekend, Bill turned 78 years old. It is with all of the love I still have for him and the reverence of one who has idolized him for a lifetime that I offer this plea.
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.