Joseph C. Phillips played Lt. Martin Kendall on “The Cosby Show” and says he loves and has longed admired Bill Cosby.
Phillips also says he no longer doubts accusations of inappropriate behavior by his former idol.
In an essay posted on his site titled “Of course Bill Cosby is guilty!” Phillips writes, “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.
“While growing up, I watched everything Bill Cosby did,” the actor says in his essay. “My father had several of his comedy albums; I memorized them backwards and forwards.”
Phillips, who co-starred on Cosby’s hit NBC show for three years, says he was troubled when allegations of wrongdoing by his former boss started making headlines last year. More than 25 women have publicly accused Cosby of raping or assaulting them over the past 40 years. The comedian has never been criminally charged and has vehemently denied wrongdoing.
Phillips says he had “dozens of people reach out” to ask him about the allegations, and for his part he writes he knows “that men who are wealthy and powerful are always the target of gossip, lies, and slander.”
“As the accusations began to increase, I became increasingly disturbed,” Phillips says in his piece. “I was fairly certain that some of the women were lying through their teeth, but certainly not all of them.”
It was about that time, Phillips says, that he reconnected with a former female friend whom he remembered had been mentored by Cosby. The actor says the unidentified woman became tearful after he asked her about Cosby and she “cursed him for violating both her trust and her body.”
The conversation left Phillips angered at Cosby, he now says.
“He had money, fame, and power; he was a walking aphrodisiac,” the actor writes. “Why? I was also angry at myself for falling for the okey-doke, of putting Bill on a pedestal.”
Phillips is just the latest celeb to reveal their feelings on the Cosby controversy. On Tuesday formerly staunch Cosby supporter Whoopi Goldberg publicly reversed her stance during an interview on her show “The View.”
For his part, Phillips has some words of advice for his former co-star.
“Bill, you have a family who loves you, a wife who is devoted to you; you have more money than you can spend,” Phillips writes. “Please, go live a quiet country life. Allow those of us who truly love you to preserve just a bit of our enchantment.”
By Lisa Respers France