Jaleel White on friendship with Bill Cosby: ‘Hell of hindsight thing’

    The 'Family Matters' actor reveals he was originally up for the role of Rudy in 'The Cosby Show'

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    In a recent sit-down interview on TV One’s UncensoredJaleel White opened up about his friendship with Bill Cosby, referring to it as a “hell of hindsight thing.”

    As theGrio previously reported, Jaleel White of Family Matters had an exclusive conversation with TV One’s Uncensored last Sunday, where he opened up about his time on the popular sitcom, his relationship with his castmates, and more.

    The actor also shed light on his relationship with Bill Cosby, opening up about his connection to the famed comedian and how his eventual sentencing affected him.

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    ENCINO, CA – APRIL 04: Actor Jaleel White on the set of “Road To The Altar” at Larsen’s Steakhouse on April 4, 2009 in Encino, California. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)

    Read More: ‘Family Matters’ star Jaleel White reveals he was never invited to Emmys

    Entertainment Weekly reports that in the interview, White reveals that he originally was supposed to star in The Cosby Show in the role of Rudy (Cosby’s youngest son.) The role was initially set to be played by a boy but was ultimately portrayed by Keshia Knight Pulliam.

    When the series creators eventually went another way with the part, White revealed he was heartbroken, explaining, “I remember I just bawled my eyes out, bawled my eyes out.” While he didn’t get to play the role, he still maintained a relationship with the star comedian.

    “I fostered a relationship with Mr. Cosby, separate and apart,” White explained. “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.”

    While initially close with Cosby, White explained in the episode that he eventually had a falling out with him, saying, “I actually had a bit of a falling out with Mr. Cosby. I kept that to myself.” While disconnected from the comedian, White revealed it still affected him when Cosby was sentenced to prison for for sexual assault in 2018.

    He shared, “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.”

    Jaleel White thegrio.com
    Actor Jaleel White attends the Paper Magazine 2011 Nightlife awards at Hiro Ballroom at The Maritime Hotel on September 27, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

    Read More: Jaleel White says he was ‘not welcomed at all’ to ‘Family Matters’ cast

    “You know, it’s a hell of a hindsight thing to look at,” he continued. “…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.”

    Check out a clip from the Uncensored episode, below:

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