The actor who played Bill Cosby's son on TV breaks his silence regarding the embattled comedian

By Lynette Rice
Updated January 21, 2015 01:00 PM
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Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty

Malcolm-Jamal Warner has become the latest member of The Cosby Show to come forward in support of Bill Cosby.

The 44-year-old actor, who’s up for his first Grammy next month in the best traditional R&B performance category for his work on “Jesus Children,” told Billboard that it’s been “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,” Warner told the publication. “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’s one of my mentors, and he’s been very influential and played a big role in my life as a friend and mentor,” Warner continued. “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.”

Earlier this month, Phylicia Rashad – who played Cosby’s wife, Clair Huxtable, on the long-running NBC comedy – addressed how Cosby s legacy was “being destroyed” because of the many allegations. Her comments followed those of Keshia Knight Pulliam, who called Cosby a “great man.”

“We’re still in America and you’re innocent until proven guilty of any crimes,” Knight Pulliam said.

Meanwhile, Larry Wilmore used the second night of his new gig on Comedy Central to lash out against the 77-year-old comedian.

“Why aren’t people listening to these women?” Wilmore said on The Nightly Show. “Is it because most of this allegedly happened so long ago? Is it because some of them went into Cosby’s hotel room alone? Is it because he’s so famous? Or is it just because they’re women? Because I would say enough have come forward. The current tally stands at 35 women. Really, folks, how many more do we need?”