I Was Wrong

I Was Wrong July 7, 2015
I played “Denise’s friend” who had a problem she couldn’t tell her parents.

One of the most important people in my life was my Uncle Ferdinand.  He had a certain swagger, relished punch lines of jokes, commanded respect around the South Bronx, encouraged me to be the best I could be, and always surrounded himself with beautiful women.  Even when times were tough, I knew that Uncle Freddy had my back.  

I’ll never forget when my mother told me he’d been arrested.

“For what?” I asked.

Apparently, those beautiful women who were always around weren’t there by choice, but rather by occupation: prostitutes. My beloved uncle was a pimp.

I was devastated.

How could Uncle Freddy — the one adult I relied on, this uncle I loved — have this terrible dark side?

It was a lesson I should’ve learned: people are neither wholly good or wholly evil. When I heard that Bill Cosby had been accused of drugging women to rape them, I immediately thought “this can’t be true.”  Like many of you, Bill Cosby represented something amazing — something I never had: a strong father in a loving family.

Sure, that was all on television and not real life.  But my “real life” intersected with his show when I caught a break and got to be in one of the episodes of The Cosby Show.  At a very challenging time of my life, he and his lovely wife Camille invited me to their home and spoke words of encouragement to me.  I guess that’s why I refused to believe the women who kept coming out of the woodwork and why I decided to speak out to say that he had only treated me as a gentlemen would.

But now?

Now, he’s come out and admitted he got drugs to seduce young women, and it makes me want to stop the world to get off of it.  Bill Cosby — America’s dad?


I think of Bill Cosby now and I think of Uncle Freddy: two men who affected my life in a positive way, but who left wreckage behind them.  The evil, terrible, unspeakable acts they did cannot be ignored. I’m not sure why we want to elevate certain people and believe they are better than they are.  I guess for the same reason we hope we’re better than we are.

When things like this happens, it serves as a good reminder that only one man was perfect…  and thankfully that’s all it took.

Read more about my time on The Cosby Show in my upcoming book – sign up for updates on it an this blog here.

Read more on the Patheos Faith and Family Channel, fan me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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  • Leo Mann

    I loved Bill Cosby as an actor ever since my early childhood and then as a comedian. Now he’s rapist. Never knew your Uncle but I can say he made business transactions with willing participants. I’m not saying it was a good thing. Illegal? You bet. Immoral? In the view of most. But don’t throw your Uncle under the same bus as Bill. It’s kinda the difference in stealing a car and renting one. I wouldn’t employ a prostitute for her services and I wouldn’t be a prostitute. I’m only saying that Uncle Freddy’s act was not as deplorable as Bill’s was. You’re way smart and I’m sure you get the difference.

  • rachybaby

    Yeah, she is way smart, so are we all… She made the comparison because she put both men on a pedestal and then was devastated when she realized they never should have been on because of their illegal and Immoral acts.

  • JediJones

    Ultimately I believe we will be judged by our creator on the totality of our actions. Our good acts will never excuse our bad ones, but neither will our bad acts completely invalidate the good we did. In the human world, we’re always eager to label someone as either a perfect role model or an irredeemable villain. We have a simplistic view of human character. Our survival instincts probably lead us there. Even if someone is good 364 days out of the year, if they’re dangerous on the 365th day, we need to remove them from society for our own safety. That’s why the ultimate judgment is left up to the Creator who is uniquely qualified to evaluate us on the totality of our actions and truly understand the motivations behind them. All we can do here is seek to protect the innocent and take the good wherever and whenever we can find it.

  • Hunt

    My dad was similar; strong, fair, always there when I needed him. He taught me to never lie, respect women, be trustworthy and be the best that I can be. On his death bed I was going through his things to find his will and military papers, I found love letters and pictures from his secretary that he brought with him through the various companies that he managed in his career. It was shocking to me. He taught me to be a better man and apparently I was. The funeral was difficult for me because I was there to honor someone I looked up to and in reality he was a two-faced jerk. I put all that crap in a trash bag and eventually threw it away so the rest of the family couldn’t relish in it. That was 2003. Still have mixed feelings today. Truth is we all have secrets, some are just embarrassing while other are too horrible to mention.

  • Randy Petersen

    Sorry Stacey. It’s never easy to watch people that we admire fall. God bless.

  • Ross

    I man can be a vicious sinner for most of his life, up to his deathbed, and then be forgiven there by God through choosing faith in Jesus Christ and repenting of his sins. We justified by His death on the cross. Not of our own doing. If it were by our own doing, then God would not get the credit. It all comes down to God’s love for us. No man makes it to heaven without Jesus Christ.

  • Leo Mann

    I get it. I just think that Uncle Freddy deserves to be ran over by a smaller bus because his women were not victims.

  • Alexandra Clachar

    How are prostitutes not victims??

  • Brendan Booth

    they mostly chose to get into the profession… the women bill cosby drugged and raped 1) did not choose it 2) were not paid for it 3) were fucking DRUGGED and not conscious.

    how you guys don’t see Leo’s point is beyond me. the world is not black and white. it is shades of grey and Bill’s color is a much fucking darker grey than the uncle. period.

  • Alexandra Clachar

    I’m pretty sure not all prostitutes CHOSE to go into that profession… A lot of prostitutes are victims and the fact that you can’t see that and are simply denying that shows your ignorance towards what’s really going on. So women who are forced as sex slaves, human trafficking and forced into prostitution including children not just adults and teens are not victims according to you and Leo?? You’re grouping all prostitutes into one category (saying they chose to be prostitutes and failing to recognize and understand that majority of prostitutes DID NOT CHOOSE to be prostitutes) I never said anything about the uncle or Bill Cosby for that matter, someone made a statement that is the furthest from the truth and so I asked a question.
    At the same time no one knows if the uncle was one of those pimps that forced women into prostitution by using violence and fear. And if that’s the case then it is far worse then drugging someone and sexually assaulting them.
    They have documentaries out their about stuff like this get yourself educated about what goes on in the real world…
    Now with that said the ones who chose that profession are not victims but there are more victims in the sex trade industry then not.

  • Leo Mann

    Depends, if she falls into the pimp controlled sex slave category then yes, surely that would be a victim. Anthony Weiner’s hooker was in it on her own making a thousand bucks a throw. After the scandal she went on to do a Playboy shoot, and while I’m not privy to the sum it’s sure to have been a very lucrative paycheck for her. Granted, most don’t make as much as she but a lot of women have paid for college educations, some all the way to a degree, and they’ve earned enough to raise their families, put food on the table, pay their bills, drive nice cars, wear fine jewelry and designer clothes and maintain a bank account all due to the money earned while on their backs. I’ve only known a handful of prostitutes and they’re all successful business women in their CHOSEN trade. I have never known any of the inner city sex slave variety so it was too easy for me to overlook them in my comment. I offer my sincere apology for my unintentional insensitivity toward those who truly are victims. No woman should ever be treated that way. Had anyone ever done my sister like that then I would have surely gone to prison because of it. If she chose that profession I would’ve been disappointed but not judging her as I advocate the liberty to make our own free choices as long as they don’t actually harm anyone else or damage someone’s property. For that there is no apology.

  • Alexandra Clachar

    No need to apologize I get what you were trying to say. It’s just there’s a lot of people out their who fail to realize that majority of prostitutes are not doing it because it’s something they wanted to do. Actually the percentage is quite low for those who want to do it. The average prostitute makes fuck all, however escorts (a fancy word for prostitute) tend to be the ones making a shit load of money especially the ones who work with an agency. But yea I just wanted to make it clear that not every prostitute is one willingly that’s all love I got nothing against you or anything.

  • jill

    It’s always hard to watch someone you have long admired, fall. Especially when you held such admiration for them. We watched for many years as he portrayed what some young people longed for, a true dad. Someone that was to be respected and looked up to. It’s always earth shattering to realize that people are just that, people…we tend to forget that the only perfect being is God.

  • Leo Mann

    Point taken. But I didn’t jump to the conclusion that those were victims yet I obviously tilted in the other direction. That was my error. I formerly lived in Dallas, Texas and my neighbor was a prostitute. She became friends with my wife and myself, not sexually, and beyond her job she was an honest law abiding citizen. Through her we met other call girls who were her friends. Nice women who lived very well and were not on drugs, except a couple of them did smoke pot. They were not slaves. They carried pistols due to the dangers of their profession, but so do police officers. My wife babysat for our neighbor while she worked and went to school. These ladies all used nice hotels by the airport and made a good living and they never took their clients home nor went to the clients rooms. OK, none of them made Oprah money, but who does? While I have never met anyone forced into prostitution I realize that tragic situation sadly exist and apologize whole heartedly for my unintentional insensitivity. The media exists on sensationalism and the sex slave industry is covered frequently but doesn’t necessarily mean most prostitutes are forced. Those who have chosen their profession are a much more obscure group who only receive media attention if caught with a politician or clergyman. Who truly knows which group truly is the majority? Maybe you need the education. Not hating on you, and I do respect your opinion, but honestly I don’t think that anyone actually possesses accurate data on the ratio of willing:unwilling prostitutes.

  • Leo Mann

    I’m with you on this one. Just took me a lot more words to say it.

  • Alexandra Clachar

    You’re kind of being biased though. You seem to only talk about high class prostitutes and I get why because that’s what you see and you personally know a few. I am an advocate of for women and children in the sex trade industry and I work closely with many groups who deal with getting these women and children out of these situations. The staggering number of women and children who have either been kidnapped then sold and forced into prostitution or have been forced by some other means is staggering it’s actually unbelievable. I’ve come across hundreds of women and children who were taken from there country and brought to North America and were put to work. I’ve come across young girls 15 years old who were beaten repeatedly and forced by there boyfriend/pimp to work, I’ve come across girls who unfortunately never had the opportunity to get out because they were murdered for trying to get out. This is a huge thing it’s everywhere

  • Nirvanasjourney

    He, (Bill Cosby), is an actor and a very good one at that! I have great sympathy for Ms. Camille. I will not call her Mrs. Cosby because she was never given a fair chance to be that! And even now she has his cross to bear. My prayers are with her!

  • Alexandra Clachar

    You’re looking at the girls who make lots of money live good lives and what not which the percentage who live like that and have good lives is not high at all. Most of the women I’ve met who are not prostitutes by choice are also drug users because that’s how they deal with it its a way to numb the pain. I live in the 4th largest city in North America and prostitution is not how you’re portraying prostitutes, which is based solely on the ones you’ve seen and met. If you’re not seeing it its because you’re blind to it, this is something that exists everywhere, prostitutes who are not doing it willingly, who are beaten on a regular basis by there pimps, who have there life threatened and if they try to get out they end up dead. It’s right in front of your face your just failing to see it. I’m not the one who needs to be educated I’ve been educated I’ve worked with media, I’ve worked with scholars, I work with various agencies who help these women who are at risk and are forced and want out.
    Now there are high paying prostitutes and they are called escorts I’m not going to deny that I’ve met plenty and they love there job. You may not want to believe that there’s a high percentage of women who are not in it because they chose it but the facts are available to you if you do the research and take the time.

  • Leon Jones

    Good for you, Stacey. It takes a strong (and wise) person to admit she was wrong.

  • Leo Mann

    I’m just not ready to judge the uncle without knowing the particulars. As for those who enslave women or children I pray to God that there is an especially tormenting depth in Hell for them, rapists, child molesters, serial killers and thieves. As for you, bravo! You are to be admired, appreciated and recognized for your good work. No one should ever be treated in that manner.

  • Nirvanasjourney

    I don’t think you were wrong at all Stacey. You accepted a side of your uncle that could very well have inspired him to see these women in a different light had he decided to fully acknowledge the role an uncle must play. You were probably one of the few women he was able to have a healthy relationship with. It shows that there was still something inside of him that knew how women should be treated.

  • whatamess

    Yes he has. However, people like this do such things for very different reasons than normal people do it. They do it for the fame, they do it for what THEY can get out of it. He’s a pig.

  • Paul Bowdeen

    Thank you for the observation that men and women are not totally evil or good but people who leave both construction and wreckage behind. I believe we want to elevate people to being better than they are because we want are dependent on other people. We want to believe in people, in their good, because they have appeared to be good and helpful. Seeing only the worst in people makes living hard and scary. But whitewashing anyone will just build up your expectations too high and keep you from seeing others as they are.

    My question is why do you want to see Jesus as perfect when he was just as human as the rest of us? He stated some good ideas and was taken too soon, because he scared the Jewish leaders and Romans. But it sounds like the same as you were doing to your uncle and Bill Cosby.

  • Katie

    The verse she linked to tells you why she is stating Jesus is perfect. He is the son of God. Fully human (“just as human “) and fully divine (not just like us).

    And if you take a good look at Jesus (actually read the four gospels) you can really only come to three conclusions about him. But I will let C.S.Lewis say it better than me in Mere Christianity:

    “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

    I’d encourage you to read the gospels to see for yourself his claim and Mere Christianity as well.

  • GuitarJam

    being white trash is not a good look honey

  • GuitarJam

    Bill Cosby is a sick serial rapist sociopath sexual predator pedophile with no empathy, compassion or remorse

  • axelbeingcivil

    Cosby wasn’t Doctor Huxtable; he was just the actor who portrayed him. The values and nature you saw in that character still exist. We live in the same world yesterday as today. Cosby might be slime, but that doesn’t mean those who looked up to him have to be.

  • axelbeingcivil

    Agreed, which perhaps make it worse. How many people has he disillusioned by his actions? How much good negated? It hurts all the more to see a role model reveal themselves not merely to have a vice but to be a sexual predator. It makes people wonder if the example they hoped to live up to is possible. People won’t forget the good he did because it magnifies the hurt.

  • Andsoitgoes

    So for all the women that were irreparably damaged, it was worth it for all the good he did. hmm Did you ever think that, as a narcissitic psychopath, all the “good he did” was actually a means to an end – to build that external mask that hid the monster? This type of individual is incapable – literally – of experiencing relationships as we do. His family is window dressing – for him. His philanthropy was window dressing – for him. Granted, he was a talented comedian, but I’d willingly sacrifice every laugh he elicited if it meant these women could be spared. And, my guess is, every institution he gave money to would feel the same way.

  • Ruthitchka


  • Most honest white people know what you say is a lie.

  • Chris Falter

    @candide – I am a white person. I and my family members have many dear friends of African-American ethnicity. I am horrified by your contemptible lies about my friends.

  • Ruthitchka

    I was hoping you were telling a tasteless joke, Candide. According to what I’ve read, teenage pregnancy is an epidemic among all colors of humans here in the United States. It is a HUMAN problem. I do not think there are more “sexually unrestrainable” people in one racial group than there are in another.
    I agree that what Bill Cosby has done over the years is horrifying. Network executives turned a blind eye to Mr. Cosby’s activities because his show (in the 1980’s) was a cash cow that sold a lot of advertising.
    What Mr. Cosby did shows he has a mental disorder or a sexual disorder or both. It is not caused by “race”.

  • Croquet_Player

    Oh look, a delusional and idiotic racist. How tiresome.

  • yort

    to be fair, how do you know that their opinion is not based on experience and observation?

  • swtnips

    “Most of the women I’ve met”

    You’re a victim’s advocate.

    If you were a therapist working with soldiers with PTSD, you’d probably swear all soldiers have PTSD.

  • Alexandra Clachar

    You know it’s not that hard to do some research. They have documentaries on this. There are journalists who risk there lives to write about what really goes on in the sex trade industry. since you’ve made it clear you know nothing of the sex trade industry I would suggest not responding to anything I’ve stated until you’ve at least educated yourself a tiny bit.
    You also quoted me saying that most of the women I’ve come across are forced. Again MOST OF, not all. Therefor your comment is irrelevant. This is a world wide known issue please educated yourselves on the matter before making comments especially when you know nothing about the topic..Have a nice day.

  • swtnips

    “since you’ve made it clear you know nothing of…”


  • swtnips

    P.S.: What are you, 25 at most?

    I’ve been in the trenches for DECADES, honey.

  • Croquet_Player

    Because one person is not an accurate statistical sample. Plus the trope of the predatory black man is such a revolting and tiresome cliché, it’s ridiculous. And using the word “negro”? This person is nothing more than an intellectually deficient racist, as common as dirt. His opinion is worth far less than dirt, as dirt is something you can actually grow a plant in.

  • Alexandra Clachar

    Yea again your comment is irrelevant . No one is speaking of you being in the trenches for decades or about soldiers in general… The topic was about prostitution and women who are either forced or who do it willingly because they chose to. I NEVER ONCE SAID YOU DIDNT KNOW ABOUT PTSD…I STATED YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE SEX TRADE INDUSTRY, OR ABOUT WHAT I DO….please read the entire thing before commenting..thank you

  • Alexandra Clachar

    Also my age has nothing to do with my profession.
    What does me saying that MOST OF THE WOMEN IVE COME ACROSS IN THE SEX TRADE INDUSTRY HAVE TO DO WITH YOU BEING IN THE TRENCHES?? Not every person has ptsd and are diagnosed with it, there are other things other then ptsd that someone can have, you assume that people who have had trauma automatically have ptsd which is not the case and has been proven over and over…And some of them don’t have anything at all…PLEASE REFRAIN FROM RESPONDING TO MY POSTS ON HERE UNLESS YOU DO SOME WELL EDUCATED RESEARCH ABOUT WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN THE SEX TRADE INDUSTRY…because you’re clueless. You stick to knowing about ptsd and don’t comment about the sex trade industry unless you know what you’re talking about..HAVE A NICE DAY

  • archaeologist

    You were wrong baout what? So he bought drugs ot have sex with women, that does not mean he intended to rape them, that the women di dnot know what was coming or that they were actually raped.

    you leap to too many conclusions

  • Perhaps she has the respect to believe the women who have spoken out and shared their stories.

  • archaeologist

    you know respect does not mean that the other person is not, does not lie.

    that is the problem with today’s society, they do not want to do the work to figure out who is lying and who is not. they just choose a side and say who cares.

  • swtnips

    NOT EVERYBODY WHO IS IN A PROFESSION WEARS IT ON THEIR SLEEVE. Sometimes we even – gasp – have internet handles & opinions about other stuff.

    I love how you feel you’re going to “EDUCATE” me instead of getting a clue that I AM this profession.

    Wake TF up. Your failure to “read” who TF it is you’re talking to is the first evidence that you’re out of your depth.

  • swtnips


    And again. I’m stating that you’re an arrogant little know it all who thinks she’s going to “save” me when she can’t even RECOGNIZE me.

  • pygmallian

    I am not so sure about that after reading her recent comments in a New York post article where she refers to him “her creation” or similar, because she is his business manager. Plus she claims the women willingly took the drugs.At some point she made a choice to choose the lifestyle over and above.

  • Gloria

    My thoughts exactly.

  • Nirvanasjourney

    I happen to like my foot rare! I was talking about Camille’s position with my Mom and I think Camille would’ve gotten half, had she divorced Bill, but in light of her alleged statements of late, It looks like she is the greatest victim of all. With that being said, her disdain for these, “Women,” is shortsighted, in that they are not completely innocent, but Bill is completely guilty. Furthermore, tolerating this behavior from your husband, may give him the impression that it’s okay.

  • pygmallian

    I felt bad for her because I understand how we overlook our spouses failings or cannot see what others can when we love someone. Then I read the comment in the New York Post. Based on their report she seems more concerned about her legacy, as his business manager, then Bill. “I created him, I knew what I was getting and we’ll fix this,” she told the gathering at a meeting at the couple’s Shelburne Falls, Mass., home Tuesday night
    I am also a person of prayer and I do pray that both of them make it right with those who have been harmed. Neither of them are young and will have a different judge to face soon.


  • Nirvanasjourney

    Frankenstein felt the same way about his monster. I can almost here Mrs. Cosby’s muahahaha at the end of her statement!

  • JamesHumbert

    As are you

  • Steve Escobar

    He was my hero too, and a friend to my parents when I was little, but now …… I always wondered how he stayed married when he was away from hom for long periods of time doling shows every year.

  • Jim Neale

    In the Bible, there are 2 perfect men, Jesus and Job. In the King James Version, Job is described as perfect in the first verse of the book of Job.

  • Norman Gloss

    Would you have preferred Negroid since that is the scientific classification of that race.

  • Croquet_Player

    I’d prefer racists die screaming. Thanks for volunteering.

  • Bill Taylor

    I follow your way of thinking about Cosby. I worked at a small VFR tower at an airport just outside of Springfield, MA, where he used to fly into and drive to his private residence in Shelburne Falls. He would always get out of the plane and wave, and one day he made it up to the control tower to visit. His image fixed in my mind. He was dressed just like he stepped out of the set of the Cosby show, in corduroys and an outlandish sweater, carrying an unlit stogie. To be in his presence was something a bit surreal, even though the visit only lasted until he got his breath to make it back down the stairs to the elevator. I was sort of in denial, because I looked at the women that came forward as has-beens who were seeking media attention. Obviously I was wrong, because I was enamored with what we saw each week on TV, and on the talk shows where he was able to charm the host. I did not see a man that would drug women to have sex, nor would I believed he needed to do that, thinking his popularity made many beautiful women available to him at will.