Malcolm-Jamal Warner has broken his silence, speaking out for the first time about allegations that his former Cosby Show costar and mentor was involved in sexual assaults. Jamal-Warner spoke exclusively with Billboard to share his feelings on the matter.
"He's one of my mentors, and he's been very influential and played a big role in my life as a friend and mentor," Malcolm Jamal-Warner, who played the role of eldest child Theo Huxtable on the hit TV show . "Just as it's painful to hear any woman talk about sexual assault, whether true or not, it's just as painful to watch my friend and mentor go through this."
"I can't really speak on any of the allegations because obviously, I was not there. The Bill Cosby I know has been great to me and great for a lot of people. What he's done for comedy and television has been legendary and history-making. What he's done for the black community and education has been invaluable. That's the Bill Cosby I know. I can't speak on the other stuff," he added.
Bill Cosby hasn't been charged with any crimes, and he has denied any and all sexual assault allegations. The allegations also include incidents of Cosby having drugged his victims.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Bill Cosby's TV son, says allegations are 'painful' http://t.co/2wm9MTrIiK
— CBC Arts (@CBCArts) January 21, 2015
Back in September, Malcom Jamal-Warner said during an interview with CBS that Bill Cosby played a huge role in his upbringing.
"I think one of the greatest advantages we had on the show growing up was being exposed to Mr. Cosby--being exposed to his work ethic, being exposed to how he handles the job of celebrity and living in the public eye...I think that all had a real significant impact," he said.
Is there anything to be said for former costars like Malcom Jamal-Warner breaking their silence and in essence defending Bill Cosby? In recent weeks costars including Phylicia Rashad have indicated that they more or less believe him to be innocent of any wrongdoing.
What some might be wondering, however, is why--if people like Malcolm Jamal-Warner are so certain of Bill Cosby's innocence, didn't they come forward before now?