For decades, Bill Cosby was considered something of a national treasure, and people who worked with him always spoke highly of him. That all changed in 2014 when a Hannibal Buress stand-up routine brought Cosby's numerous sexual abuse allegations into the limelight. Since then, more than 50 women have come forward accusing Cosby of everything from drug-facilitated rape to child sexual abuse, making him one of the most famous people ever charged with sex crimes.
The legal proceedings around the allegations have so far brought more questions than answers. A mistrial in June 2017 prolonged what many perceived as inevitable: on September 24, 2018, Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O'Neill labeled Cosby as a "sexually violent predator" for drugging and assaulting a woman in his home back in 2004. This means Cosby has to be in counseling for life and be on the sex offenders' registry.
Even though the courts are having difficulty indicting Cosby, do people who worked with him think he is guilty? While the courts cannot automatically exonerate or condemn Cosby based on coworker testimonies, they can give powerful insight into a man who has increasingly become an enigma.
Keshia Knight Pulliam has rarely, if ever, wavered in her support for Cosby. Even during the trial proceedings in June 2017, Pulliam told Today that, "At the end of the day I truly believe you're innocent until proven guilty, and that's just not the man that I ever experienced."
When Chris Rock was starting out as a comedian, he received a lot of support from Cosby. To this day, Rock cites him as a friend and a powerful mentor, which just makes the allegations against Cosby all the more painful for him.
He hasn't spoken much about the case since, but every time he's asked about it, like in May 2015, he basically just mentions that it's sad:
I haven’t talked to him in a long time. The whole thing is just sad. What can you say? I’m not gonna defend him and I’m not go Judd [Apatow] on him. You do still have to wait, he hasn’t been convicted. But it’s sad.
Cosby Show Producers Tom Werner And Marcy Carsey Can't Comprehend It
The producers of The Cosby Show, Tom Werner and Marcy Carsey, haven't spoken up much since the allegations, but back in November 2014 as everything was coming to light, they did release a statement to Variety.
They didn't try and dispute the claims, they just reiterated they simply couldn't believe it. They told the outlet, "These recent news reports are beyond our knowledge or comprehension."
It's been awhile since her comments back in January 2016, but Whoopi Goldberg has been one of Cosby's greatest defenders. Though they've never directly worked together on any films or anything, they've been featured together in many comedy showcases and know each other pretty well.
When the news first came out, Goldberg was all in Cosby's corner, claiming he should be "innocent until proven guilty." Since Cosby was formally accused, she started to walk back on those statements, saying she really wanted to hear Cosby's side of the story, and that things weren't looking very good for him.