While his celebrity pals seem to be bailing on him fast, Bill Cosby has been able to count on the support — or, at least, silence — of his TV family during his rape scandal. But now, one of the fallen icon's Cosby Show co-stars is speaking out, saying the allegations against the show's star are probably true and that his sexual escapades were an open secret on the set.
Joseph C. Phillips, who played Cosby's son-in-law Martin Kendall on The Cosby Show, shared his feelings about the comedian in a post titled "Of Course Bill Cosby Is Guilty."
Phillips describes Cosby as his idol and a dedicated family man, despite his extramarital dalliances. "I owe much of who I am to Bill Cosby, so the idea of love seems to fall short of exactly how I feel," he writes. "The Cos was a ladies man, but also good father and husband — devoted to his wife and children."
Still, Phillips says, Cosby's infidelities were a well-known fact on the set. "Bill sleeping around was a fact that, like, the air, seemed to just be," he explains. "You didn't have to see it or hear it to know that it existed. ... There was also the seeming unending parade of pretty young women that streamed through the studio."
Phillips says he felt "shook" earlier this year, when the Cosby scandal had reached fever pitch, after running into a female friend who "spent time" with Cosby and asking her if he ever made sexual advances against her will.
"'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," he writes. "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?'"
Phillips himself seems conflicted about how to reconcile Cosby, the icon, and Cosby, the alleged rapist. At the end of the post, he pleads with his former mentor to disappear quietly.
"The good Bill has done over the years is real and enduring," he writes. "I am not prepared to simply dismiss his brilliance, his wisdom, or his legacy. ... 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."
Watch the BET News recap of the Cosby fallout below:
(Photos from left: Ryan Miller/Getty Images, Ethan Miller/Getty Images)