Family Matters star Jaleel White on ex-mentor Bill Cosby: 'He is paying the appropriate price'
Jaleel White opened up about his former mentor, disgraced comedian and sitcom star Bill Cosby, during Sunday's edition of TV One's Uncensored.
White, famous for playing Steve Urkel on Family Matters, spoke about nearly nabbing the role of Cosby's youngest son on The Cosby Show (the role of Rudy, played by Keisha Knight-Pulliam, was originally going to be a boy). "I remember I just bawled my eyes out, bawled my eyes out," White said on Uncensored.
Despite not landing the role, White said he later became close with Cosby.
"I fostered a relationship with Mr. Cosby, separate and apart," he revealed. "Many dinners at his house, breakfasts, I even ran into a rough patch, and he's directly responsible for why I ended up at William Morris Agency, which became an education unto itself."
At some point, though, their relationship changed, but White declined to go into details about why. He did, however, address the sexual misconduct scandals surrounding Cosby, who was sentenced to prison in 2018 for sexual assault.
"I actually had a bit of a falling out with Mr. Cosby. I kept that to myself," White explained. "Knocking off these monuments who are still human beings, it's tough. And you go back in time, and you realize how close you were to something, and 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, and you don't want anyone to feel like you're trying to use them for clout. You know what I'm saying? A revered man did terrible things, and he's paying the price. I think that's where we leave it: A revered man did a terrible thing, and he is paying the appropriate price."
In 2018, Cosby was sentenced to between 3 and 10 years in prison after being convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a former Temple University employee in his mansion in 2004.
During his episode of the TV One series, White also spoke about his time on Family Matters, including why he was reduced to tears after playing Myrtle Urkel, Steve Urkel's cousin. Watch White explain more in the clip below.