Over the past few months, Bill Cosby has been the center of a media whirlwind. The allegations have opened up many cans of worms with numerous alleged victims “coming forward” with accusations. Read on to read five facts about Bill Cosby that may shock, encourage or just make you say, “Hmmm.”
1. Cosby’s Sex Scandals Date Back to 1997
Bill Cosby has a legacy that cannot be denied. However, his legacy has not gone untarnished. In 1997, Autumn Jackson attempted to extort $40 million dollars from Cosby, claiming to be his illegitimate child. Her claims stem from a 1970’s extramarital affair Cosby had with her mother, Shawn Upshaw. In January 2000, a 20-year-old actress named Lachelle Covington filed a police report stating that she’d been groped by Cosby inside of his apartment. In 2004, Cosby settled out of court in a civil suit, for an undisclosed amount when former Temple University Andrea Constand accused Cosby of fondling her. A year later in 2005, Beth Ferrier gave an interview in which she stated that Cosby drugged her coffee and as a result she passed out. Ferrier claims that when she woke up, her clothes were partially removed. To date, more that 20 women have claimed that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them. Some of the women include models Janice Dickenson, Beverly Johnson, and actress Michelle Hurd. Hurd is most noted for her work on Law and Order: SVU. Hurd claims that Cosby was sexually inappropriate with her during her time that she worked stand in on The Cosby Show.
When the latest allegations broke, Cosby’s wife Camille spoke out in her husband’s defense saying:
He is a kind man, a generous man, a funny man, and a wonderful husband, father and friend. He is the man you thought you knew.
2. He Dropped Out Of College And Now He’s Worth $400 Million
While attending Temple University on athletic scholarship, Cosby took a job as a bartender at a neighborhood bar. Cosby would often fill in when the comics that the bar booked wouldn’t show up. He soon began to gain notoriety and began booking gigs on his own at other neighborhood comedy clubs. In turn, Cosby dropped out of college in 1963 to pursue comedy full-time. A few years later, Temple University would give Cosby an honorary bachelors degree.
Bill Cosby has actually been a huge advocate for education. Even so, Cosby was known for being the class clown and failed the tenth grade three times before finally dropping out of high school at age 19 to join the Navy. It was through a correspondence course while in the Navy that Bill Cosby received his GED.
Today, the comedian has accumulated a net worth of an estimated $400 million.
3. Lena Dunham Recently Compared Cosby To The Holocaust
When Girls star Lena Dunham was asked about director Judd Apatow’s supposed obsession with Bill Cosby, Dunham replied:
It’s sort of like saying someone’s obsessed with the Holocaust. This is a huge issue, and it speaks to the way that we abuse power and the way that celebrity allows for injustice.
Later on, Dunham took to Instagram saying:
I’m already aware (that) comparing Bill Cosby to the Holocaust wasn’t my best analogy.
4. There Is Controversy Surrounding How Cosby Earned His PhD
Cosby’s dissertation used his TV show Fat Albert and the Cosby kids as a teaching tool. Cosby’s efforts in receiving his PhD are surrounded by a little controversy since he used his television roles to achieve his degree. It’s been stated that Cosby hardly attended classes and received class credit for being on the TV shows Sesame Street and the Electric company.
5. His Only Son Was Murdered
Bill Cosby and wife Camille Olivia Hanks had five children together – Erika, Erinn, Ensa, Evin, and Ennis. Sadly, their only son, Ennis, was murdered on January 16, 1997, while he was changing a flat tire on the side of Interstate 405 in Los Angeles. Ennis was an aspiring teacher who was fatally shot in an attempted robbery. The report of his death reads:
Cosby was driving on Interstate 405 on his way to visit his friend, Stephanie Crane, when his car developed a flat tire. He telephoned Crane, who drove out to assist him. While Cosby changed the tire, Crane sat in her own car shining the headlights on Cosby to illuminate the area. An armed man wearing a knit hat then approached Crane’s driver-side window and ordered her out of the car and threatened to kill her. Crane quickly drove off but returned to Cosby’s car minutes later to see the man running away. She then noticed that Cosby was lying next to his car with a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
Ennis was a huge inspiration for The Cosby Show as the character Theo Huxtable, the fictional son of Cosby, was based on Ennis. Cosby also wrote situations and dialogue that he had with real-life son Ennis into the show.