Now that more than a dozen women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, Hollywood insiders are also coming forward with claims that continue to chip away at the notion that the actor was anything like the character America fell in love with on "The Cosby Show."
As Page Six's Richard Johnson relayed on Monday, a former National Enquirer reporter told Johnson that in exchange for the tabloid killing a story about Cosby "swinging with Sammy Davis Jr. and some showgirls in Las Vegas," the actor allegedly leaked information about his daughter Erinn, then 23, and her battle with drugs and alcohol.
“My editor told me that daddy Cosby was the source. He ratted out his flesh and blood,” said the reporter, who Johnson did not name on the record.
It's true that in October 1989 the National Enquirer ran a story on Cosby's daughter's drug problem, in which the actor told the tabloid, "Tough love is the only way of dealing with this. We love her and want her to get better, but we have to take a very firm, very tough stand that forces her to realize that no one can fix things for her. She has to beat this on her own."
The same week that story ran, the actor's representative, David Brokaw, confirmed to The Associated Press that Erinn was seeking treatment for her issues, and stated that the actor would not comment again on the topic.
The National Enquirer piece is "the only interview that he's been willing to give on the matter,'' Brokaw told the AP. ''He has a relationship with them. He has found them to treat him fairly.''
Cosby did comment again, two months later in an interview with The Los Angeles Times. "We have four other children. This particular daughter appears to be the only one who is really very selfish," he said. "She's never held down a job, never kept an apartment for more than six months. She uses her boyfriends. She wants the finer things, but she can't stand anybody else's dirt." It was an interview that prompted Washington Post columnist William Raspberry to write, "Bill Cosby, actor and entertainer, is not Cliff Huxtable."
According to Whitaker, it was the National Enquirer who tracked Erinn down in Boston, where she was living with a cousin after a five-week stay at Edgehill Newport hospital in Rhode Island. "As usual, [Cosby's] representatives did everything they could to keep the scandal out of the press," Whitaker wrote.
The Huffington Post reached out to Brokaw and Cosby's lawyer, Martin Singer, for comment on the claims; this post will be updated if they respond.
In the wake of the sexual assault allegations, additional unflattering claims about Cosby's interactions with the press have come to light.
Journalist Dana Kennedy wrote on Raw Story about her "uncomfortable" experience interviewing Cosby for the AP in February 1992. "If it doesn’t go well, I’ll give you a piece of fruit," Cosby told Kennedy. "I’ll give you an apple or pear and you can be on your way.” Kennedy claims that less than a week after the story ran the actor sent her a "dried and withered" apple, along with a sheet of paper and the words, "Here’s your apple.”
Current TV Guide Los Angeles bureau chief Michael Schneider relayed a similar story. An interview journalist Kathleen Fury did with Cosby for the magazine in 1984 was described as "unpleasant."
"He made no attempt to be amiable," Fury wrote in the piece, which Schneider scanned and put online, "and was by turns combative, defensive, challenging, threatening and hostile."
For more, head to Page Six.