A controversial new book, “Cosby: His Life and Times” by Mark Whitaker, claims that Bill Cosby had a sordid life when not playing the devoted family man on the small screen.
The book alleges that Cosby repeatedly cheated on his wife, Camille, while enjoying a hard-partying, lavish lifestyle afforded his hit series “The Cosby Show,” where he was making $1 million per episode in its hey day.
In the book, Whitaker claims that an alleged lover from 1975, Shawn Berks, was the first to approach the actor with claims that he was the father of her daughter, Autumn. She reportedly asked him for money to keep quiet. Autumn would go on to attempt to extort Cosby for money years later.
In December 2006, People magazine reported multiple women that had settled outside of court in civil lawsuits that alleged sexual assault.
While the book alludes to some of these affairs, there are also stories of angry outbursts and a reported short fuse in the book.
In one instance Cosby apparently punched fellow comedian Tommy Smothers at the Playboy Mansion in 1977 for “not coming out against the Vietnam War.”
On another occasion mentioned in the book, he nearly punched a camera man at the end of ”The Cosby Show’s” first season. Ahmad Rashad, who was dating Phylicia Ayers-Allen at the time, reportedly had to restrained Cosby.
Despite the book making largely shocking claims, the author apparently eventually had Cosby’s blessing to release it.
In a column for the Washington Post, Mark Whitaker writes, “When the book was in galleys, I sent copies to Cosby’s publicist and lawyer so they would know what was coming.
“Although there were things in it they weren’t entirely happy about, they didn’t ask for any changes, because they knew I had solid sourcing for everything I had written.
“As difficult as Cosby and his representative were at the beginning, they were just as respectful of the work I had put in at the end.”