Generations of television viewers have enjoyed watching Bill Cosby play a loving father and respected doctor on the Cosby Show. In addition to this show, Cosby has worked as a spokesman for JELLO, and entertained millions of people with his raw comedic talent.
However, according to a new tell-all, Cosby has led a double life, one very different from his television personalities. As revealed in the book, “Cosby” His Life and Times”, written by Mark Whitaker, Cosby was involved with sexual assault, had numerous secret girlfriends, and supposedly, has a love child.
Whitaker writes in the book that during the 1970s, a time when Cosby’s success as a standup comedian began to skyrocket, he was already living a double life. One life consisted of a home on the East Coast where he was an ordinary family man and the second in Las Vegas where he followed very different rules because of self-indulgence.
Claims made by Whitaker include Cosby living apart from his family to spend nights with bunnies from the Hugh Hefner Playboy mansion and celebrity swingers. At one point, Cosby is said to have developed a relationship with Shawn Berkes, a strikingly beautiful 20-year-old who his wife Camille knew nothing about. However, his indiscretions eventually caught up with him.
The two split for a short time but Berkes was later contacted by Cosby for a rendezvous at the Hilton Hotel. Whitaker goes on to say that it was at that get together when Berkes pulled out a photo of her adorable 14-month-old daughter, claiming that Cosby was the father. He denied the child but later, it was proven that in fact, the child was his.
In 1997, Cosby found himself in the middle of a very serious mess. Autumn Jackson, who claimed to be the love child created by Cosby and Berkes, demanded to be paid $24 million. As a result of her extortion attempt, Jackson was arrested.
A spokesman initially insisted that Berkes and Cosby barely knew each other although he did admit that one year of college, as well as money for other expenses, had been paid to Jackson. However as a caveat, the spokesman said that Cosby was well-known for helping many young people with education.
In a television interview with Dan Rather, Cosby finally came clean about his affair with Berkes and stated that Jackson could in fact be his love child. As many times before, his wife, Camille, stood by his side saying that the affair from 23 years ago was not important. Ultimately, Jackson was found guilty on the charge of extortion and sentenced to jail for 26 months.
Ten years ago, 13 women came forward, accusing Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them. Together, these women filed a class action lawsuit, which was settled in 2006. In Whitaker’s book, details specific to this period of Cosby’s life were glossed over but he does write about the effects that LA has had on him, something that has always been a concern for Camille. Only decades later would she finally come forward to admit her husband’s selfish behavior caused significant pain.
Whitaker’s book, “Cosby: His Life and Times”, starting selling yesterday on newsstands and according to the author, there are even more shocking revelations, a good majority that have never been denied by Bill Cosby.