Jill Scott explains initial Bill Cosby support: ‘That man was like a father to me’

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When a storm of sexual assault and rape allegations hit Bill Cosby last fall, Jill Scott was one of the his earliest supporters.

She wanted to see evidence and didn’t want to be quick to condemn a man she considered a mentor, a legend.

Well, that was cool while it lasted.

Scott has since come out and shared her disappointment in Cosby and withdrew her support.

Earlier this week, the Philly soul singer sat down with a New York radio station to explain the ‘process’ of defending Cosby before ultimately reversing course.

“Looking at the big picture is the reason that I could not make any real decisions other than love,” she told Power 105’s Charlemagne the God and Angela Yee. “If it’s your dad and 100 people say something bad about your father..it’s hard. Bill Cosby has been good to me. North Philly girl, reaching out, making sure I was good,” she said.

But, she continued, she eventually had to do an about-face.

“It doesn’t look good. My mind is present. My heart didn’t want to believe anything negative about someone I love, admire and respect so much. But, my mind is present and I was like ‘Damnit!’ it’s no way around this,” she explained.

In the interview, she also spoke about men whose legacies are good but whose actions were horrible.

“Bring a lot of light and attention to the prospect of a human being simply being a human being coming from a black man is dangerous, in my opinion.”

“Look what happened to Michael Jackson,” Scott said during the 45-minute discussion. “Look at what happened to Kevin Clash. I’m talking about Elmo. How he was so beloved by everyone. I’m not trying to dismiss that folks have done some terrible foul things. All men have proclivities.”

Scott continued:

I’m from North Philly. Bill Cosby is from North Philly. That man was like a father to me. He showed me everything about life that I did not see in North Philly. Different World made me want to go to college. I appreciate and respect that legacy. Still…that’s a man. And I’ve always been about that with fame and famous people […]

Phil Spector (music producer), he killed a woman, tried and convicted but he’s still in the Hall of Fame. If I’m not mistaken Elvis liked them young. I’m not saying that this is right. I’m saying that all men have proclivities. And I really feel whatever is done to some, do to all. Don’t disseminate the legacy of the good. You trying to tell me that regardless of how much good I do in the world and when I do something bad everything else gets pushed away?

Scott’s fifth studio album, Woman, was released last week.