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‘His Wife Wasn’t There’: ‘Family Matters’ Star Jaleel White Alludes to Former Friendship with Bill Cosby Putting Him In Compromising Positions

Hindsight has proven itself to be 20-20 for actor Jaleel White as he reflects on the friendship he once shared with comedian Bill Cosby.

The once-beloved TV dad was convicted of drugging and raping women in 2018. White recalled as a rising star he found mentorship in Cosby, but with the comedian’s legacy forever tarnished, he has a new perspective on the time he spent under his tutelage. 

(L-R) Jaleel White and Bill Cosby. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for BudX. Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

“You go back in time and you realize how close you were to something,” the “Family Matters” star said. Moments that White experienced as a young star with Cosby are now recollected in a hazy and possibly more insidious filter than met his eye years ago.

“You put yourself in rooms where you realize, his wife wasn’t there. That woman was probably there for that purpose. You know, it’s a hell of a hindsight thing to look at,” he said during his May 8 episode of “Uncensored.”

As a child actor, White first encountered Cosby while auditioning for a role on “The Cosby Show.” Though the role ultimately went to a then-5-year-old Keisha Knight Pulliam, White still managed to win Cosby over as a mentor.

“Many dinners at his house, breakfasts,” said White of the friendship during his May 8 episode of “Uncensored.” He went on to add that the now disgraced comedian even helped him navigate a difficult time in his career. 

“I even ran into a rough patch, and he’s directly responsible for why I ended up at the William Morris Agency, which became an education unto itself.” But what started as a fruitful bond eventually soured due to circumstances White elected to not share during the one-hour sit-down.

Now, as a father, White can only see Cosby in one way: a man who fell from grace by his own undoing.

“It was, like, a revered man did a terrible thing and he’s paying the price. It’s just, like, I think that’s where we leave it. A revered man did a terrible thing and he is paying the appropriate price.”

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