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.
In September 2017, Seinfeld originally claimed the quality of Cosby's work outweighed the allegations for him. It took him about a week to realize that wasn't actually true any more.
Seinfeld probably doesn't know Cosby well enough to speak to his personality, and, in fact, Seinfeld believes most comedians are crappy people. Seinfeld told Stephen Colbert he just can't hear Cosby's comedy in the same way anymore. It still may be great stuff, but it's no longer enjoyable for him to listen to.
Roseanne Barr and Cosby both ran highly successful sitcoms around the same time, and when Barr ran into trouble on her show, Cosby would sometimes call her and give her advice. Barr said that, "Sometimes he advised me well, and other times I didn’t agree with him. But he did reach out to me at the time, and I thought that was cool." That said, Barr thinks it's obvious Cosby is guilty.
In November 2014, Barr pointed to the 13 women that had accused Cosby of rape as an indisputable indication of his guilt. "I don’t wanna get sued or have him send anyone to beat me up, but I think it’s obvious: 13 to 1."
Joseph C. Phillips got to spend a lot of time with Cosby back in the day as his fictional son-in-law, Martin Kendall, on The Cosby Show. That's why it's significant that Phillips wrote a July 2015 blog post titled, "OF COURSE BILL COSBY IS GUILTY!"
In the post, Phillips is effusive in his praise of how wonderful and inspiring Cosby was to him, but he also notes Cosby was well-known as a ladies' man. In stark contrast to many of his other co-workers, Phillips claims Cosby's sexual antics were well known by everybody on set. He claims it was "common knowledge."
- Photo: Kimberly Russell/Twitter
Kimberly Russell first met Cosby on the set of Ghost Dad. She was a newer actress set to co-star as the fictional wife of one of the most legendary comedians of all time. If Cosby had wanted to make a move on her, he would have had ample opportunity to do so, but according to Russell, he never did.
In fact, back in November 2014, Russell told Entertainment Tonight that the two had spent significant time together, alone, rehearsing their parts for the film, and Cosby had always treated her professionally and appropriately. When she heard the accusations, she immediately thought they sounded entirely out of character with her former co-star. At least back then, Russell seriously hoped her friend would "prevail" against the accusations.