VSB Roundtable: The One Where We Talk About Camille Cosby » VSB

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VSB Roundtable: The One Where We Talk About Camille Cosby

Bill Cosby (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

 

I’m sure by now you’ve all seen, or heard, some confidants of Camille Cosby spilled some of her alleged thoughts to the NY Post. I say alleged because these words came from somebody else on her behalf so it’s entirely possible it’s NOT completely accurate and because its the Post.

From the NY Post story:

Bill Cosby’s wife knows her husband is a serial philanderer, but believes his scores of accusers consented to drugs and sex, two confidants of the couple say.

Last week’s revelation that Cosby admitted during a deposition that he intended to ply women with Quaaludes before bedding them barely fazed Camille Cosby, the ­insiders told The Post.

“Camille still doesn’t believe that Bill provided drugs and had sex with women without their consent,” said a source employed by the Cosby family. “She’s well aware of his cheating, but she doesn’t believe that her husband is a rapist.”

I understand standing by your man but this pushes the envelope into deep waters. I’m slightly amazed that she’s digging her heels in so deeply. The writing seems to be all over the window to the wall. What seems painfully obvious (and sad) to the rest of us – that Bill Cosby is a rapist, pure and simple – seems to be implausible to her. Either that or she’s just choosing to ignore the writing in favor of being the ultimate ride or die.

I’m trying to understand and I’m drawing somewhat of a blank so I’m taking it to the VSB streets. Thoughts? Opinions?

-PANAMA JACKSON

We’re not sure if Camille said those comments, but what I AM sure of is that whether or not the women consented to the drugs or wanted the drugs… you can’t provide clear consent to sex under the intoxication of drugs (which includes alcohol, of course). So, even mentioning that as a “defense” is irrelevant.

If Camille said those things, she’s likely in super deep denial. She doesn’t want to even admit to herself that her husband is a rapist, let alone to the public. It really is very sad and I really wish she would’ve simply remained silent or refused to comment (I know in this case, it’s more about a source coming out, but didn’t she make comments denying it even happened before?). Either way, her comments (allegedly or otherwise) are harmful and further shame women… deeper into what is OBVIOUSLY a cemented rape culture.

-TONJA STIDHUM

In this case I think it’s a matter of her exhibiting a trait that’s more commonly seen in people of that generation. In terms of things you don’t want to believe, you simply choose not to believe them. It happens when older family members refuse to acknowledge that other family members are gay, or when family, mothers specifically, hold on to the integrity of a child’s innocence, even in the face of the most incriminating evidence. I’m not comparing being gay to committing a crime, but to people of a certain age and of a certain upbringing, it is the same. I don’t think it’s about being a ride-or-die, mainly because my generation is annoying with that bullshit and the nonsensical motivations behind it; Camille has aged well beyond trying to hold anybody down. But also because I, for no particular reason, believe Camille to be a reasonable woman, and while publicly she may denounce whatever rumors-turned-fact that have materialized, it would come as no surprise that inside the confines of the Cosby compound they’re likely not speaking or the tension is palpable. I’m not saying I agree with how she’s responded but, it’s definitely something I recognize.

-RYAN SIDES

I believe she believes him. But it’s a pragmatic belief. A choice to believe because she has too much invested in that belief, and acknowledging that her beliefs are wrong would be too devastating. Especially now. Because it would be admitting — to everyone, but, most importantly, herself — that her entire life has been a sham. She believes because she has to. Her life is dependent on it.

Also, we can’t dismiss the fact that if Bill Cosby is capable of raping dozens of women while 1) successfully becoming America’s most prominent family friendly comedian, 2) successfully transitioning from that to his role as America’s dad, and 3) transitioning from that role to America’s scolding and contemptuous uncle — all the while acting as an very generous benefactor for Black education — who knows what type of man he was to his wife? What we might be seeing now is a form of Stockholm Syndrome, cultivated by 50 years of emotional abuse.

-DAMON YOUNG

This was my favorite picture from my college graduation and one of my favorite true hollywood tales.

unnamed

It’s not anymore.

Now, I’m going to keep it 100. I didn’t watch the Cosby Show like that. I was too young for everything but the Erika Alexander years and wasn’t really feeling the re-runs. Still, I loved Cosby’s good “clean” stand-up and respected his legacy. Every time I walked Spelman’s campus in college, I’d pass the Camille Cosby Building ( A $20 million gift from Bill and Camille) I’d think to myself,

“This man must really be committed to his wife. He ain’t even put his name on it thoooo.”

A commitment that strong is impressive. Normally, it would be admirable but now it’s just on some Claire and Frank Underwood shit. They bought a building at the premiere institution for black women during the 80’s, when Bill was definitely still “Pill Cosby” and Camille was allegedly by his side just-a nodding and smiling.

I don’t know Camille’s true feelings. She may feel like she’s in too deep. She may feel like she’s still got to nod and smile. But she can’t be complicit in this shit and get any sympathy from me. Not when young women, (women her husband could have preyed on) are have been going into a building with her name on it for years.

-BRANDON HARRISON

I’m not buying the source. But I do think Camille is a “don’t let no hussy mess up your family” type of woman. I also think she believes Bill is a cheater like most men are, not a rapist–and those women are hussies like most unmarried women are, not victims. I agree with Damon’s notion of Stockholm Syndrome, cultivated by 50 years of emotional abuse. She’s been with Bill since she was 19, against family wishes, and dropped of college to follow him to Hollywood. She’s been gone for a very long time.

-CHRISTINA E

I agree with Damon and Christina. I don’t necessarily trust the source. He has probably been a stellar yet cheating husband to her like a lot of men in Hollywood. Which to some people would rule out the stellar part, but it happens.

I think she knows he’s a rapist though. I’m sure they’ve had some real arguments at home but she seems very “stick by my man” and is choosing to admit only part of that. It’s much easier to say publicly that these women chose to take drugs and have sex with her husband than to say he drugged them with intention on raping.

-SHANAE BROWN

Do yall feel it’s just too late for her to change tune? Maybe she’s wanted to over the years but at 71, it’s just not worth it for her to really stand up at this point?

-BRANDON HARRISON

I was wondering this same thing – if Camille just *can’t* admit publicly (or maybe even privately) that her husband ain’t shit. She’s been in too deep allll these years. I’m not sure she’s bold enough to come out now and say “yeah that nigga did it and I knew about it.” At 71, I might just ride that ish out too.

-GEM

She might let the chopper spray, eloquently, once he dies.

– CHRISTINA E

That is also a similar thought I had. Like maybe its just not worth it. The Titanic is already sinking…she might as well play the violin with it.

Brandon, I will say that one of my first thoughts this morning was about the Camille Cosby Center on Spelman’s campus. Bill and Camille are incinerating their legacy quick, fast, and in a hurry these days. Not that the name will or needs to change. Their strides in education are solid, but man. My view on Bill has changed already…or maybe its become more realistic. But Camille, I didn’t have much of one before aside of being the strong Black woman by his side. Now I’m more amazed that she seems to be almost complicit in all of this shit. Not even almost. She is.

– PANAMA JACKSON

Man, when I was at Spelman for my reunion in April, I had my class meeting in the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, EdD Academic Center. And I couldn’t help but think of what would/should happen to that building. Camille had been largely silent up to that point but I knew there was no way she wasn’t part of the mess that has been accumulating for decades. Sigh.

-GEM

This is the downside to having a solid healthcare system. Folks are now living long enough to watch their legacies come tumbling down because of their sincere fuckery.

– PANAMA JACKSON

VSB
  • uniquebeauty79

    I would want to be a fly on the wall when they discuss this. I mean, is there a clause in the prenup that says she gets nothing if she leaves no matter what he has done? She has to have been abused in some sort of way or something. This just doesn’t seem like something a “reasonable” person would go along with.

  • Freebird

    Using my own experience and my broke family back story a bit, Im not buying the line folks are trying to sell on Mrs. C. It’s not hard for me to believe Mrs. Cosby was a co-pilot in his shyt and not a passenger behind a partition. Sometimes in some circles (especially wealthy ones) some women are behind more than their husbands greatness, for reason that can go beyond their husband’s legacies. Yes, he is a monster. It is very possible that she is too. It’s not hard for me to believe that she knew what was going on….that her husband was engaging in what could be considered rape. She had a lot to lose (and still lose) if his brand fell. She helped build it. Camille is no mule.

    • miss t-lee

      See… We’re. >here<.
      Exactly my thoughts.

  • DBoySlim

    I’ll say it again. Things need to be named for people AFTER they die. A legacy needs to be solidified before their name gets plastered all over everything.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      *cues O’Jays for the Love of Money* Society then needs to stop asking for their money in exchange for such status.

      • DBoySlim

        One reason I don’t like honorary degrees.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          I’m not talking honorary degrees. I’m talking we’re short on our fundraising efforts, the campus needs to build a new wing on the science hall, the athletic department wants to upgrade the facilities but the taxpayers won’t kick in, etc. If you contribute x, we’ll put your name on the building. We’re mad when things go left but I didn’t see Penn St give the Paterno’s money back, I didn’t see Virginia Tech give Michael Vick’s money back, I didn’t see the City of Baltimore give Ray Rice his money back, and I doubt Temple and Spellman will give the Cosby’s their money back.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    There’s levels to this thing so let’s try to unpack them as best as we can. Did Camille know yes; was it a function of the chex and free love period they lived through, was it a function of some kinky ish, was it a function of a loveless marriage (Frank and Carrie Underwood)?

    Is she a victim yes…a victim of our harsh comments. Do I feel sorry for Camille? No; it’s the bed she chose to lie in when she chose to ride with William.

    • Chocolate Guest

      So here are my thoughts about this. I don’t find it hard to believe that Camille did not know what was going on through most of her marriage. Dudes lie–period. Dudes protect the home front above all else and will let side chicks know that home will never be disturbed–period. So I can see how she was blind for most of the marriage and I think that people are being harsh by assuming she knew at the time the actions were being done. I also can see how she didn’t know about the 2005 deposition. Cosby has a fleet of attorneys and handlers who sole jobs were to be to protect his brand and his home, not only from his fans but also from his family. I am an attorney, I know, our job is to keep that stuff from everyone. Now all that being said, I don’t know how she keeps up the ignorance now that so much has become public and she would have to blind, deaf and dumb not to know that at bare minimum her husband was using illicit drugs in some form or fashion, whether it’s rape (my belief) or a quid pro quo. But at 71 do you really think she’s going to give up the money and position when she has put in 50 years, has had kids with this man and has never been on her own. She is not. It’s a different generation and that’s what they do. (Granted, in my opinion, she should not be defending or pretending to justify his behavior–she should just be quiet and know she has chosen to be a ride or die). Not condoning it because I would not stay and lord knows I have a trust but verify policy with my own husband but I think this is simply what she has chosen to do.

      • HeyBooHey

        As much as men lie, women know when they’re lying. Women’s intuition is very extraordinarily real. I’ve never been wrong when my shando felt like an ex was doing me dirty. My grandma knew my grandpa was dipping out before she saw the woman in the grocery store with her kid. At times, women tend to have an idea, a clue, a feeling and either choose to ignore it or don’t want to rock the boat since it’s not directly in their face. So definitely, Camille knew something at some point, if not the whole time, but “protecting the legacy” took precedence over what was right. And she wasn’t leaving that life for stuff that couldn’t be proven. It’s crazy

        • Chocolate Guest

          Agreed but I also know some men are just that good such that you don’t know until much later. And yes, the whole ride or die particularly with rape allegations seems too much for me. But it’s interesting I am also seeing a resurgence of women, and black women at that, who are choosing to stay at home and are dependent on their husband, thus following the same path. To me that’s scary because if he acts the fool, you are much more likely to stay because you don’t have your own thing.

          • HeyBooHey

            It’s a cycle. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stay home and take care of home, I would do it if given the opportunity. But I would also make sure that I have a part-time so I’m not resting solely on my husband and to have my own sense of identity outside of just being “his wife”. I know my cousin, same age as me, is just waiting for her lawyer boo to propose so she can quit and pop out his babies while laid up “with diamonds and gold”. Her exact words. It disturbed the h*ll outta me but to each his/her own

            • Chocolate Guest

              But note how you said you would at least do a part-time. Not hating on the women who want to stay home but you have to ALWAYS be in a position to maintain some skills or some path to doing it on your own if need be.

              • HeyBooHey

                Maintaining skills is so key. If not for the “just in case” factor, for your own sake. When I get bored, I educate myself. Literally, I was bored and decided to get a Masters degree lol. I can’t just sit in waiting, even if I’m being well taken care of. Even now in relationships, I let men know I’m sharing the load so he knows I’m good with or without him

            • Chocolate Guest

              And as for your cousin, yeah, let’s see how that all plays out of God forbid lawyer boo boos up with a younger finer version.

              • HeyBooHey

                Lawyer boo also has a low likelihood of going anywhere. God forgive me but he’s not exactly a physical catch so they’re kinda doing each other a favor

                • Chocolate Guest

                  LOL!!!!! Hollere!!!!

                • Epsilonicus

                  If he got money he dont need to be a physical catch

                  • HeyBooHey

                    And that’s her exact reasoning. She’s admitted his money makes up for his shortcomings. I could go in but I’m tryna be a better Christian lol, she just pisses me off with that

                    • Epsilonicus

                      Like I said earlier, everyone has a price

        • Sigma_Since 93

          “As much as men lie, women know when they’re lying. Women’s intuition is very extraordinarily real.”

          This in addition to the clues he was leaving all around town. Many of us have forgotten the reason behind the extortion by the young lady. We focused on the death of his son and not the fact she claimed to be his daughter. The deposition we’re currently up in arms about is from 2005; this means that a) there were two public incidents in her face in the last 20 years and b) she’s known about the roofies for the last 10 years!!!!!

          • HeyBooHey

            TOTALLY forgot about the woman claiming to be his daughter! Listen, Cos been in the “ain’t ish” pile for the longest of years but had already captured America’s hearts with Heathcliff and whatnot. Camille may just be the type to stay silent and be cool with whatever as long as the dirt don’t hit her feet while she sits on her throne.

          • Chris

            Great point. The scandal about the secret daughter and payments to her mom for years quickly twisted in the media to make Bill the victim. His PR team worked over time to save his image. Poor Bill being blackmailed but truth be told, Camille has known for a fact he was a cheater since at least the 90s. Likely before since he was paying people off to keep quiet. You know at least one woman was brazen enough to call the house, etc….

            After remembering the other stories, I’m in agreement with the House of Cards, Claire Underwood, comparison. She’s all about the power and the money. Smile and wave all the way to the top.

  • PunchDrunkLove

    Let’s say Camille does a tell-all. What then?

    • HeyBooHey

      She ain’t telling all until Bill is 12ft under and can’t come back to bury her in the pudding. And that would acknowledge that she knew certain things, I doubt she’d ever get herself dirty

      • PunchDrunkLove

        She might go before him. I’m not saying one way or the other if she was privy, I’m only asking what are people going to get from it?

    • Tristan

      Nothing at all, theres nothing to gain she might as well die the loyal wife

      • Epsilonicus

        That book would sell like hot cakes. Thats what there is to gain. Everyone has a price

        • Tristan

          Would it really….black woman giving her all to a powerful man who aint sh t, yawn.

          • Epsilonicus

            People love gossip. Gossip sells. Look at Superhead

            • That was a 1st of it’s kind type book. Superhead broke ground in hip hop with that. The game changed with her.

            • Karrine wasn’t selling gossip though, she was selling facts.

              • Epsilonicus

                And Camille would be too. And people would pay for those facts.

                • You are 100% correct.

                • Tristan

                  She wasnt there or if Bill confessed and she did nothing she looks even worse

                  • Epsilonicus

                    If the money right she might not care at that point.

                    • Tristan

                      I doubt the money is going to be that good….a milli for a sitdown with Barbara or Oprah thats about it.

                    • Epsilonicus

                      And book sales. And speaking engagements. Trust it could turn into a small industry if she does it right.

                    • Tristan

                      Not in this age. It would be a slap in the face to the victims and would be shut down immediately

                    • Who would want an association with this tell all book? The backlash from her getting millions backed off the experiences of literally dozens of rape victims would keep pretty much anyone from getting her to speak.

                    • Epsilonicus

                      Ehh you are assuming people would do the right thing. I am thinking curiosity and cash would trump all of that.

                    • Freebird

                      or for the sake of her own legacy when he dies in about a year.

          • Deeds

            Are you kidding, that would be a juicy a$$ book. I would read a book like that.

      • PunchDrunkLove

        Honestly, I’m not invested in their relationship, if she knew, what she knew, so forth and so on. I do hope they make or have made things right with their maker. And really, that’s all that matters.

  • bigheadbaby

    “This is the downside to having a solid healthcare system. Folks are now living long enough to watch their legacies come tumbling down because of their sincere fuckery.” I knew there had to be a downside of increased life expectancy! If only she had died in her 50s like women did a hundred years ago, this would be a non-issue. I am so very late for my date with the grave. You know them healthcare mugs ain’t loyal….

    • DBoySlim

      Dead

  • Tristan

    I think ultimately Camille doesnt empathize with the women because she sees them as harlots who shouldnt have been in that position with a married man in the first place. Its a very old school take, stand by your man and let no one come between that. She’s also his business manager, so theres that.

    • Bingo. “Them little wh0r3s ain’t me, I’m classy, I’m a wife.”

      • There are a lot of women out here Eva Brauning while their men do foul things.

        • miss t-lee

          Agreed. Lots of “if he’s taking care of home” he can do as he pleases.

      • Tristan

        Older black women contribute heavily into rape culture….i remember the other day i seen a girl venting on facebook because she was at cookout and a woman told her to cover up because theres women there with their husbands

        • Come on Tristan you know we black men can’t control ourselves.

          • Tristan

            Woof

            • Sadly that trash idea is perpetuated by many in our culture as well as racist white culture.

              “They r*pe our women….”

        • My mother is guilty of this.

        • kris b.

          Seriously, the skeletons of mothers who didn’t believe their daughters were raped by husbands, boyfriends, uncles, etc is real in my family and i just dont understand how women can sweep daughters under the rug like this. I just dont.

          • Tristan

            Yeah theres some sh t i wouldnt share here…but its just, wow.

          • They did believe, they knew their brothers and husbands were doing this to their kids. They just chose to be quiet.

            • kris b.

              You’re right they did believe, somehow they think they’re protecting the family name? Or the family from shame? Awful part of our culture.

              • Some of it is “keeping in house issues, in house” but another part of it was due to financial security. Most women back then didn’t hold down jobs and if they did, those jobs couldn’t support the entire family. Both of my grandmothers were home makers for other people in the community. Neither of them could’ve cared for my aunts or uncles on the scraps they were given as “payment”.

                • Chocolate Guest

                  Yes! And I am so mad at the women who in this day and age continue to be totally dependent on their husbands. Seriously?! It’s so much harder for you to leave if you don’t have something of your own.

                  • Money is one of the top reasons women feel like they can’t leave an abusive partner.

            • Cleojonz

              Not always. Sometimes they view these daughters, nieces etc. as their competition which is beyond sad. Really at age 13?

    • miss t-lee

      Very old school. And the fact that she’s his business manager adds a whole nother level to her being complicit.

  • JennyJazzhands

    Unless Camille helped lure, drug or rape the women, I can’t bring myself to blame her. Assuming that this source is accurate, I can only imagine how trapped she must feel. Let’s face it, bill Cosby is a real life monster/boogie man, preying on young women for decades. If he treated strangers that way, I’m going to go ahead and assume that Camille has been a victim of his abuse for decades as well. Maybe her theory is, “he’s almost dead anyway”. If that’s the case and she out lives him, we might hear the truth then. But most likely she’s going to continue to write big checks to hbcu’s in the hopes of salvaging the good deeds they’ve done amidst all of this cray.

    • I’m torn about whether she got in the mix. She may have been a victim. She may have been one heck of an alibi. The world may never know.

      • JennyJazzhands

        I know. It’s so hard. I think she definitely knew what he was doing. The question is, did she feel powerless to do anything or did she just turn a blind eye?

        • Epsilonicus

          I get the feeling she gave no effs at all.

        • Amber

          I’m thinking she knew he was cheating but probably didn’t think he was raping women.

        • Deeds

          I think she may not have known in the beginning and then begrudgingly went along with it after she established a life with him, because she didn’t want to mess up her situation. Or she just thought he was cheating and not being a rapist.

    • PunchDrunkLove

      It seems like people are going after her because they can’t get him. I thought along the same lines as well….I see her a victim more than anything. Who knows what went on. I also believe what someone said, (have to go find), that they’ve likely been living separate for years now. Not saying I know, but everything is speculation until she concretely confirms if she had a role in all of this.

  • In a way, Camille Cosby is even more shady than Bill is. This isn’t to say that Bill has proven himself a good human (as opposed to the elite level talent he still is), but Camille is getting ahead in the most passive aggressive way possible.

    On one hand, Camille gets the benefits of being married to a Hollywood A-lister. The money, the nice house, the fame. All she has to do is smile pretty and look the other way when he’s running up in various women. Besides, I get the feeling that besides his various r*pes, he was getting it in at the Playboy Mansion when it was the *dramatic pause* Playboy. Mansion.

    On the flip side, I’m sure Bill had his moments when he had a need for emotional support, because even r*ping a$$ Hollywood stars have feelings too. All Camille had to do is pull out a few of his receipts and keep it pushing. She got all the benefits of Hollywood stardom without either working for the stardom or being an emotional support.

    Codependency has its benefits.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      My bet is that Bill tries to stay on the road because it’s gotta be h3ll behind closed doors when the two of them are alone.

      • Who is booking Bill Cosby at this point though? He was gracefully fading out before Hannibal Burress put him on blast. Why take a risk for someone who even in ideal circumstances was someone fading out?

        • Epsilonicus

          He did a show in Baltimore this spring and got heckled.

        • I don’t know if Hannibal meant for this to happen but he single handedly brought all of this into motion within the past year.

          • Epsilonicus

            Mmmhmm. Because everyone was ignoring it until he shaded the f*ck out of Cosby

            • There were a few stories out there. Ta-Nahesi Coates had a story putting him on blast. It was just that one routine that caught fire.

              • Epsilonicus

                I remember that story. It just didnt get everyone riled up

              • Deeds

                What was that story, was it just like what all the women were saying?

                • It was an article judging Bill on all those callous he was doing. It went into length about the lawsuits, but wasn’t able to get any of the accusers on record.

              • Comedians can bring realities to light in ways journalists can’t. Coating truth in comedy. Making it more palatable.

          • Tristan

            He didnt…the punchline was more aimed at his respectability politics

            • Yea but people zeroed in on Cosby and here we are today.

          • Hannibal! Chicago stand up!!
            “I guess I want to just at least make it weird for you to watch Cosby Show reruns.”
            Mission Accomplished

        • Sigma_Since 93

          I mean before this new round of pub; this has been happening for YEARS and I think the road was a haven from Camille’s wrath…..and a way to get some because those legs have probably been closed to him for some time now.

  • bigheadbaby

    Some Twilight Zone quality mess is going down in the Year of Our Lord Twenty Fifteen! I wish I could understand where she is coming from. I think she is probably feeling about umpteen different emotions depending on what minute it is. But some kind of way, I think she and he are like The Bill and Camille Cosby Education and Entertainment Corporation and she is a company girl. She is not stupid, her eyes BEEN open, thing is, she cried her last tears yesterday….waaaaaaaay yesterday….and the rest after that has been raw calculation and keeping tabs on that P&L Statement and running that cost-benefit analysis. Guess the benefit side has won, thus far. I do feel some sympathy for her, because this is some shameful mess. But if the rumors are true, her stoic silence enabled this to end up at this point now. Without her, this monster of a situation would have been exposed and King Bill would have been toppled off his throne long ago. She didn’t do this, he did, so I am not laying this in her lap, but there are sins of commission and sins of omission. Silence is a form of speech and consent. And I agree…old school folk don’t think like we do now. We are all about exposure and confession. They are all about keeping crap hid until death seals their lips. I know some of the old heads in my family have held on to some super-serious stuff and I continue to wonder how they didn’t just burst into spontaneous flames at Thanksgiving dinner. Family secrets kill more people than bullets.

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