The Most Expensive Real Estate in New York
Bacall passed away in 2015, a month shy of her 90th birthday, leaving behind an amazing Central Park apartment. When the home hit the market, insiders and fans finally got an inside look of the apartment Lauren called home. The apartments surrounding Central Park are some of New York City’s most expensive properties. Lauren had the luxury of calling one of these mansions home for 53 years! Following her death, the apartment went up for auction at the price of $26 million!
A Nine-Room Estate
The flat is located in the historical Dakota building on the Upper West Side. The large nine-room apartment doesn’t feel like an apartment at all, rather an entire house placed inside of the gorgeous architecture of the Dakota Building. As you would expect from a Hollywood star, the master bedroom is 22 feet wide and is connected to a private study, bathroom, and walk-in closet. The apartment’s balcony overlooks Central Park, so you can just imagine what springtime is like in the estate, a total dream!
Rustic Red and Royal Blues
Of course, the kitchen is far beyond your average New York City kitchen. It is an eat-in kitchen that opens up into a 24 by 19-foot dining room and family room. Lauren’s dining room brings French elements together with a perfect color palette, both rustic reds and deep blues are found in the small details of the upholstery, furniture, and, the art featured in the room. The wall hanging may seem like a simple poster, but it is The Bell Époque French by Jules Cheret, sold for a whopping $7,000.
The actress and singer was a fan of French-inspired design, a preference that is evident in her furniture choices. In addition to the poster hanging in her dining room, Bacall had several other French posters hanging on the room’s other walls. She complemented the posters with fine collectible china that she hung next to the framed posters. The decorative lamps are pieces are scattered throughout the rooms of her home.
An 18th Century Piece
It’s no secret that Lauren was partial to French design, but that doesn’t mean that she didn’t admire art from other countries and periods as well. One of the more important items in her home was her antique George III oak Welsh dresser, from the late 18th century, a piece that held her collection of fine china. Though George III style furniture typically uses mahogany, the dresser was made from oak – a unique choice for pieces from that time.
The Master Bedroom
It seems as though Bacall saved the pop of color for her own bedroom. Considering most of the rooms in the estate are blue, brown, and white, it’s surprising that Bacall chose lavender and pink tones for her own room – colors that aren’t seen anywhere else in her apartment. Other than the gallery wall behind the bed, the room has a clear view of Central Park. Imagine opening your morning to a panoramic view of the green and beautiful Central Park!
The Master Suite
As you may have already noticed, Bacall liked to fill every inch of a room with collectibles, furniture, and art. Surprisingly enough, the master suite is the only room where something new is placed. Adjacent to her decked out fireplace, there appears to be a very modern-looking tongue. The grey couch adds a cozy touch to this room, and behind it, you’ll see a bookcase full of books and collectibles. We would give anything to relax with some reading while enjoying this fireplace!
To the right side of the fireplace of the master suite, there is the perfect display of Bacall’s collection of decorative candlesticks and artwork. The theme of these framed portraits is ships and floral designs. Bacall loved using accents of color. The walls of the apartment are 13 feet high, so it makes sense that Bacall would want to fill the space with art. The apartment was catered to an art collector seeing as there’s a lot of art that seems synonymous with the house’s existence.
The Guest Bedroom
Another interesting, yet the unsurprising choice of color, Lauren chose bright and sunny, yellow walls. Above the bed hangs a very pricey 1920s Spanish art piece. The piece, which depicts a woman holding a basket full of fruit, was painted by Andrew Segovia and sold for a staggering $18,750 at auction. Though the walls are a cheerful shade of yellow, the bedspread and rug are a shade of sky blue. In the right corner of the room, you will notice a unique, shelving piece that adds an interesting touch to the room’s style.
Palettes of Blue
Even when the styling of a room was formal. Bacall knew how to paint a room the perfect shade to add that extra chic touch. She chose to paint the living room a gorgeous shade of robin’s egg blue — which brightens up the entire room and works with the room’s natural light. The collection of blue accents tie the room together, everything from statutes on the fireplace to her gorgeous couches.
Her Baby Grand-Piano
And of course, what’s a luxurious New York apartment without a grand piano? Bacall’s piano is by Mason & Hamlin, a premier New England based piano company that was founded in 1854. The piano sold for $6,875 through the original value was likely much more. Although we’re sure it sounded great, it doesn’t seem like Lauren was playing much in her old age. The piano became more of a display table for her old family photos.
Perfectly Accented Couches
These comfortable couches were chosen to accent her living room’s wall color. Patterned furniture is often hard to pull off, but these really pull the room together. The white contrasts the dark wood of the fireplace and coffee table perfectly. Bacall’s apartment holds five working fireplaces, a rare occurrence, especially in a New York City property. This living room fireplace is accented with a deer head above its mantle – a nod to her love of wildlife.
French Style Mirrors & Antique Dressers
Each one of Bacall’s apartment’s rooms is massive, allowing her to hold an impressive collection of antique furniture. This room features an ornate French-style mirror that rests on a Regence Provincial Walnut Commode, a mid-18th-century piece that sold for nearly four thousand dollars. The room also has an antique desk that was sold for $5,000. The Louis XV provincial bureau was crafted from walnut in the mid-to-late18th century and complimented the room’s wooden floors.
Her Private Gallery
Bacall lived in her great apartment from when she was about 36 years old until she was 89. Her life’s story is documented throughout the apartment – though art and antiques. Her home is a gallery, full of beauty and character. The perfectly curated art in her house looks like somewhat of a museum. Every inch of wall space is covered in framed art, from expensive paintings and photographs to simple prints.
American White Pelican
Her furniture was worth a fortune but what was even more intriguing was the value of Bacall’s art. This original print of American White Pelican by James Audubon sold for $173,000. Audubon gravitated towards painting birds in their natural habitats, and this print truly showcases his talent. The artist is most widely known for his color-plate book called The Birds of America, which is one of the first ornithological works ever published. Throughout his life, Audubon identified 25 new species of birds!
Louis XIII Walnut Fauteuils
What is the most you would ever spend on a pair of chairs? Even if you were one of the world’s most avid furniture connoisseurs, you would probably not spend as much as Lauren Bacall did. Her antique Louis XIII-style chairs were in excellent condition, and they made a great addition to her already beautifully styled home. The chairs sold for $1,875 and featured veneer turned wood and moldings. The blue stitching on the upholstery was brought out nicely against her blue walls.
Vintage Louis Vuitton Luggage
Every celeb has their selection of Louis Vuitton luggage. The company was founded in 1854 and has become one of the world’s most luxurious designer names. With Bacall’s timeless taste, it comes as no surprise that she had a set of monogrammed Louis Vuitton luggage. A single bag can cost nearly two grand, and considering Bacall’s is vintage, it’s exceedingly rare and costly. Her collection of designer luggage was sold for a whopping $37,500!
Betty Joan Perske
Although it may seem like her apartment is filled with art and furniture, it also has pieces of Hollywood history. But of course, she owned her personal director’s chair that was sold for nearly five grand in the auction. Betty Joan Perske who changed her name to Lauren Bacall, debuted in To Have and Have Not — and started her legacy in Hollywood. She’s done it all, from working alongside Marilyn Monroe to acting as a voice in Family Guy — Bacall loved the industry.
Lauren had an eye for amazing works of art after she passed, three bronze sculptures were auctioned off at more than $30,000. The sculptures were created by Robert Graham, who was famous for his design of the entrance gates for the 1984 Olympics. Bacall and Graham met through actress Anjelica Houston – Bacall’s close friend and Graham’s wife. Bacall fell in love with his portrayal of the female form. The art remained in Lauren’s foyer for years, and she loved referring to them as “her girls.”
Her Favorite Pieces
Towards the end of her life, Lauren Bacall sat down with Vanity Fair as she discussed her outstanding career and how her New York apartment had become a map of memories of times passed. In what would, unfortunately, turn into one of her last interviews, Lauren opened up about her numerous pieces in her home, made by renowned artists, painters, and sculptors. Among her collection were works by John James Audubon, Max Ernst, David Hockney, Henry Moore, and many more.
Cozy Wood Furnishings
One of the themes we’ve seen throughout all nine rooms has been unique wood furniture. Every piece looks like it was specially picked out for the room it was placed in. Many may think that the interior of such a big star’s apartment would be flashy and glamorous – but there is something about Bacall’s apartment that is homey and cozy. The apartment looks like a place that has been lived in, Bacall managed to make it a home rather than a stage to be admired from afar.
Her Views of Central Park
New York City real estate prices increase drastically if you have a view – and few landscapes are more desired than that of Central Park. Bacall’s apartment has approximately 100 feet of Central Park scenery. This means that half of the apartment has one of the best views in all of New York City — an essential part of Lauren’s connection to New York. In a 1978 issue of French Vogue, Bacall said, “Outside that window lies Central Park; my relief from the city, an important reason to live there.”
The exterior of The Dakota building stood tall on the corner of Central Park West and West 72nd Street. As the city progresses, the building stands tall, holding its history. Overlooking Central Park, it’s safe to say that the preserved building may be one of the most beautiful things about New York City — full of history and the essence of possibilities that come with the city. Over the years, the value of the building has gone up drastically, and it’s easy to understand why!
On August 12, 2014, Lauren Bacall passed away after suffering a stroke. Just five weeks shy of her 90th birthday, the legend passed away at her Dakota apartment where she lived for more than 50 years. When word of her death spread, fans decorated the iron gate outside of Bacall’s apartment with roses, paying their respects. Over the weeks following her passing, fans from all over the world visited her apartment building, showing their appreciation to one of the Golden Age’s biggest actresses.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
After her passing in 2014, fans decorated her Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with flowers, stuffed animals, and other various items that reminded them of Bacall. In 1960, actress Lauren Bacall was honored with a star that can be visited on 1724 Vine Street. The grieving fans were added to hear the news of her passing and made their way to the star to honor one of Hollywood’s last Golden Era actresses.
Vanity Fair Interview
One of the last interviews Lauren ever gave was from her Dakota apartment. She was interviewed in 2011 by Matt Trynauer for Vanity Fair. The actress did not hold back in the interview revealing intimate details of her life, as one of the last-remaining actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Era. In her heartfelt and honest interview, she spoke candidly about the effect of husband, Humphrey Bogart’s fame had on their relationship and children. In addition to talking about her marriage and career, she spoke openly about secrets from her personal life.
Whirlwind Romance With Frank Sinatra
During the interview, Bacall revealed that after her husband passed away, she quickly jumped into a relationship with the famous actor and singer-songwriter, Frank Sinatra. They had what you could call a whirlwind romance to the point that Sinatra proposed. However, when rumors of the engagement were leaked to the media, Sinatra became distressed and called off the engagement altogether. According to Bacall herself, it was “an awful time for me, there’s no way I could have been thinking straight. Even then it might have worked if Frank had been more sure of himself…but he wasn’t.”
Marriage to Jason Robards
Following her short-lived relationship with Sinatra, Bacall met and began dating actor Jason Robards. When they tried to get married in July of ’61, the two of them faced a ton of issues due to Robards’ “quickie” divorce in which the actor signed an affidavit stating he was officially divorced from his former wife on May 22nd, 1961. After traveling to Austria and getting denied a marriage license, Bacall and Robards set out to Las Vegas only for the same thing to happen again. Finally, the couple was able to marry after traveling to Mexico though they divorced eight years and one child later.
When Lauren Bacall married Humphrey Bogart in ’45, she was only 19 years old while he was 45 — 26 years her senior! Naturally, this age gap caused many to wonder what these two could possibly have in common. Well, for starters, they both had an obsession with dogs being that they both had grown up with a variety of pups. Bacall and Bogart actually received a Boxer as a wedding gift and it’s safe to say that the two of them fell in love with that breed of dog.
According to the actress herself, she and Bogart named their new pup “Harvey, after the invisible rabbit. He was really smart. He knew he wasn’t allowed to get on the furniture so he would only put two paws on at a time, and he would sit between us if we had a fight.” It wasn’t long before Lauren and Bogart had three Boxer dogs. Here in this photo, Lauren’s relaxing as Bogart and son Stephen read a magazine on the floor. Harvey, George, and Baby — their three dogs — lay together.
Pampered Papillion, Sophie
Although Bogart and Bacall shared three boxers together, the actress ended up adopting a Cocker Spaniel after her husband passed away. Just six months after that, their beloved Boxer — Harvey — passed. Bacall’s last dog, though, was a pampered Papillion pup named Sophie. Bacall absolutely worshipped Sophie so much so that she left $10,000 to her canine companion. The money went to Bacall’s youngest son, Sam Robards, to ensure that the beloved pup continues to live in the manner she’s accustomed to. Don’t worry, though. The star also split up her $26 million estate between her three children.
Bonhams’ Highest-Profile Auction
In March of 2015, the Bonhams New York auction hall held a two-day, 20-hour marathon auction for Lauren Bacall’s belongings. More than 1,500 bidders from 34 different countries took part in Bonhams’ the highest-profile auction of the season. A few days prior to the auction, however, photographers and videographers began documenting everything that filled her glorious apartment. Anyone who was actually lucky enough to purchase one of Bacall’s possessions was undoubtedly happy to have a piece of history.
There’s no denying that Bacall had quite a fruitful career in her own right. Still, tons of people gravitated towards her projects with her late husband Humphrey Bogart. With that being said, it doesn’t come as such a shock that amongst Bacall’s eclectic art collection was this statue of ‘Bogie.’ The bronze statue depicts Bogart as Rick Blaine from Casablanca, which was released in 1942. This sculpture was just one of the many pieces that was auctioned off after Bacall’s passing. Although it sold for an undisclosed amount, it was valued at $800.
Aaron Shikler Portraits
It’s really no secret that actress Lauren Becall loved art. After all, the actress was a cultivated collector of art and antiques, her pursuits often sparked by personal experiences. In any event, this piece — made by artist Aaron Shikler — was inspired by Bacall herself. Shikler, who was famously known for his official White House portraits of John F. Kennedy and Jackie-O, was also popular amongst many elite social groups. With that being said, he also often did portraits of celebrities. Shikler even did portraits of Bacall’s children but they kept those for their personal collections.
It comes as no surprise that Bacall’s collection of vintage housewares weren’t sold at very cheap prices. While it was clearly in used condition, Bacall’s Turkish carpet was still sold at the auction for $2,250. Despite its name, there’s actually no one culture that can claim these carpets. In turns out that they actually derived from the multi-ethnic, multi-religious traditions of the former Ottoman Empire. With that, it makes sense as to why these carpets have been found everywhere from Siberia to Egypt to Transylvania.
Massive Jewelry Collection
Bonhams New York auction hall was responsible for Bacall’s estate after her death, which included the actress’s massive jewelry collection. There were reportedly 32 lots of jewelry alone that was put up for bid at the auction, drawing the interest from people around the globe. As mentioned before, the auction lasted a record-breaking 20 hours and brought in a whopping $503,625 for the jewelry alone. While Bacall’s jewel collection did garner more than the estimated value, Susan Abeles — Bonham director of jewelry — stated that “the estimates were regular market values. It’s impossible to calculate the value of provenance.”
18-Karat Gold Ear Clips
One of the most valuable and desired pieces from Bacall’s jewel collection was a pair of gem-set, 18-karat gold ear clips. Designed by Montures Schlumberger in France, each ear clip was specially designed as a gold latticework plaque. They were emblazoned with emeralds, sapphires, and amethysts. The award-winning actress famously wore these ear clips the night she accepted an Oscar for her performance in The Mirror Has Two Faces. Although the clips were estimated at $12,000, they were ultimately sold for $52,500.
Personalized Tiffany’s Necklace
Aside from her bedazzled ear clips, Bacall also owned a personalized Tiffany’s necklace. When auctioneers first found the piece, they noticed individual letters engraved on each of the hearts. Since they couldn’t figure out what the necklace said, they handed it over to Bonham’s jewelry department who cracked the code — “To my own beautiful star from her proud director Ron.” While it hasn’t been confirmed, it’s believed that the necklace was a gift from Ron Field, Bacall’s director in the 1970 musical Applause. Although the necklace was estimated to sell for $9,000, it was eventually sold for over $52,5000.
Her Style Was Her Own
Perhaps one of the most breathtaking pieces of jewelry that Bacall owned was a bracelet made by French designer Jean Schlumberger. Not only is it made from 18 karats of gold but it also features a series of blue paillone enamel panels with polished gold bar detail. Just from looking at Bacall’s collection, it’s clear that the actress had an amazing sense of style. According to Susan Abeles, “Ms. Bacall’s style was unmistakably her own — and it continues to influence design and fashion to this day.”
Lauren Bacall’s apartment in The Dakota was absolutely magnificent but she was hardly the first celeb to reside there. Aunt to Hollywood’s silver fox George Clooney, Rosemary Clooney was a singer and actress. Although she first gained recognition during the ’50s with hits like “Come On-a My House” and “Mambo Italiano,” the singer’s career began to later around the 1960s. In 1977, though, Clooney made a comeback when her White Christmas co-star Bing Crosby asked her to accompany him to a show that was meant to mark his 50th anniversary in show business.
Judy Garland was yet another major star that lived in The Dakota at one point. Garland’s former 19th-century home at The Dakota has seven wood-burning fireplaces and is on the market for $16.75 million. The 4,7000 square foot-apartment features three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, 13-foot ceilings, and generously spacious rooms that flawlessly flow from one to the other. Not only does it include a formal dining room that overlooks the building’s central courtyard but the apartment also has a library and an elegant living room with French doors.
It’s really no secret that one of the most well-known residents of the building was legendary singer-songwriter John Lennon. Regarded as one of the greatest musicians of all time, Lennon was actually living at The Dakota at the time of his tragic death. In December of 1980, the activist and co-founder of the Beatles was killed in the archway of the building by Mark David Chapman. Since then, The Dakota has become a tourist attraction for people to come and pay their respects to the memory of John Lennon.
Maury Povich, now 81 years old, is a TV personality who’s best known for his tabloid talk show Maury. His career began when he initially became a radio reporter for WWDC. By the late ’80s, though, he gained national fame as the host of tabloid infotainment television show A Current Affair. In 1991, Povich co-produced The Maury Povich Show, which was later rebranded as Maury. Today, he resides in The Dakota with his wife, Connie Chung who’s a television news anchor.
Gilda Radner was an American comedian and actress best known as one of the seven original cast members — “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” — of the hit NBC sketch comedy Saturday Night Live. In 1979, Radner moved to The Dakota and paid $150,000 for her apartment although she only lived there until 1985. A few years later, in 1989, the award-winning actress passed away from ovarian cancer. Still, there’s no denying that her memory has continued to live on throughout the years.
John Madden, now 84 years old, is a former sportscaster and football coach for the NFL. In 1977, Madden won a Superbowl as coach of the Oakland Raiders and was later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Once he retired from coaching, Madden moved on to commentating for NFL telecasts. With that kind of career, there’s no denying that Madden’s rolling in the dough so it makes sense as to why he bought Gilda Radner’s Dakota apartment in 1985. Although he bought it for $625,000, Madden ultimately sold it in 2013 for $3.9 million.
Bill Cosby’s Children: The Troubles and Tragedy of a Famous Family
The story of Bill Cosby is an emotional and dark one. The pioneering actor broke many boundaries in the entertainment industry, but it was all eclipsed by his alleged crimes. The Bill Cosby story caused rifts and arguments, and inspired anger from both sides. In the middle of all this was the actor’s children, dealing with the fallout of their famous father’s actions. Join us as we catch up with Bill Cosby’s children, and the troubles and tragedy of a famous family.
Bill Cosby and Camille Hanks
Bill Cosby and Camille Hanks met in the summer of 1963 when they were set up on a blind date at a bowling alley. At the time, Cosby was a 25-year-old comedian who was performing shows at a small club in the Georgetown neighborhood.
Hanks was 18 years old and studying psychology at the University of Maryland. Hanks’ parents were initially skeptical because of their daughter’s young age. Still, the couple began a long-distance relationship when Cosby returned to New York.
‘Till Death Do Us Part
A year after they began dating, Camille dropped out of university, and her parents reluctantly gave their blessing to their 19-year-old daughter’s marriage. She and Cosby tied the knot in Maryland in 1964, the same year that his debut comedy album was released.
While Camille has generally avoided public life, she has worked as her husband’s manager. As well as this, Camille is an academic and writer, with a Master’s and a Ph.D.
The Five Cosby Children
When Camille and Bill Cosby got together, they started having kids right away. In total, the couple had five children, all with names beginning in the letter ‘E,’ for “excellence.”
In 1965, the couple welcomed eldest daughter Erika; the following year daughter Erinn arrived; in 1969 they had their only son Ennis; in 1973 daughter Ensa was born, and finally, daughter Evin arrived in 1976. Camille and the Cosby kids would end up as the inspiration for Bill Cosby’s most successful piece of work.
Traveling a Lot
Aside from raising his family with wife Camille, Bill worked tirelessly to make a name for himself. He began to see his hard work pay off when his career skyrocketed during the mid and late-1960s.
As a result, Cosby’s wife and kids made family trips and moved around so they could be closer to the star. According to Evin, her father “always wanted us to be close, to be a part of his whole life, at home and onstage.”
“I Loved My Childhood”
Evin, the youngest of the five Cosby children, loved her childhood. In an extensive letter provided to The Hollywood Reporter, the now 44-year-old discusses how loved her father made her feel throughout her adolescence.
Bill and Camille exposed Evin and her siblings to all types of people from all walks of life. They also raised their kids to be ambitious and instilled them with certain values. In Evin’s own words, “he [Bill] raised me to go to college, start my own business, and be my own woman.”
Bill Cosby’s Early Life
William Henry Cosby Jr. was born in 1937, and was one of four brothers. His mom, Anna, was a maid, while his dad William Sr. was in the US Navy.
At school, Bill Cosby was class president and captain of the baseball and track and field teams. He was a joker at this early stage of life, calling himself the class clown.
Finding a Career in Comedy
Like his dad, Bill Cosby enlisted in the US Navy and worked as a hospital corpsman in various locations. After that, he landed a track and field scholarship to Temple University, where he studied physical education.
Apparently, while working in a Philadelphia club during college, Bill Cosby got bigger tips by making his customers laugh. From there, he started performing on stage, and soon, he would leave college altogether to start a career in comedy.
Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow…Right!
After a string of stand-up gigs, Bill Cosby landed a recording contract in 1964. His first comedy album was named Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow…Right! At this time, lots of comedians were using the increasing freedom of the ’60s to explore controversial topics. However, Cosby talked about his childhood.
Significantly, for a black comedian in this period, Bill Cosby didn’t talk about race in his routines. He often had to explain or defend this choice, and felt that he was showing the similarities across human experiences.
Making History on TV
In 1965, Bill was cast in the adventure series, I Spy, which was the first weekly drama series with an African-American in a starring role. Because of overt racism in this era, four stations declined the show.
However, it became a ratings hit, and Cosby won three consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor. As he accepted his third Emmy, Cosby said, “Let the message be known to bigots and racists that they don’t count!”
The Cosby Show
Of course, we can’t talk about Bill Cosby without talking about his biggest TV success — The Cosby Show. The series debuted in 1984, and featured the comic as the father of an upper-class African-American family in Brooklyn, New York City.
Bill Cosby was also a co-producer on the show, and often suggested plot ideas based on his own family. The show’s characters were based on his kids and wife, with Clair and Cliff Huxtable as college-educated African-Americans.
Bill Cosby – America’s Dad
Because of the immense success of The Cosby Show, Bill Cosby came to be seen and known as “America’s Dad.” Cosby had grown up in Philadelphia public housing, found success despite racism in the entertainment industry, and was now earning a fortune as a sitcom star.
Plus, because Cosby stuck to family humor and clean comedy, his work was considered by some as positive for the black community. In his role as Cliff Huxtable, Cosby was a playful, dedicated father with an eccentric sense of humor.
The Autumn Jackson Case
Despite Bill Cosby’s warm on-screen persona, in reality, the actor was a womanizer (and much worse). Bill Cosby cheated on wife Camille numerous times across decades, and has admitted to paying hush money so his wife wouldn’t find out.
In 1997, a woman named Autumn Jackson stepped forward claiming to be Cosby’s daughter. Bill Cosby admitted to having an affair with Jackson’s mother, Shawn Thompson Upshaw, in the ’70s — though she claimed that the star was with her against her consent.
Extortion and Secret Funds
Apparently, Bill Cosby paid over $100,000 to Shawn Thompson Upshaw over 20 years. This money paid for Autumn Jackson’s car and college, and the comedian even spoke with her on the phone saying she needed to maintain a B average.
The star said that Camille Cosby was aware of the situation, but they didn’t want the media to find out. Unfortunately, Autumn Jackson threatened to go to the tabloids unless Cosby gave her $40 million. This attempt only ended up harming her.
Bill Cosby vs. Autumn Jackson
Because Autumn Jackson threatened to harm someone else’s reputation for money, she was found guilty of extortion. For this crime, she was sentenced to 26 months in prison. Interestingly, if Jackson had done what she did through a lawyer, she likely would have reached a settlement with her famous father.
Tragically, when Jackson started her prison sentence, she was six months pregnant with twins. Thankfully, the sentence was overturned after 14 months. To this day, Jackson hasn’t had a DNA test with Cosby.
The Case of Ennis Cosby
Ennis Cosby, Bill and Camille’s only son, was the inspiration for Theo Huxtable. Indeed, Ennis’ dyslexia inspired Theo’s plot on the show, including his father’s guilt for not recognizing his son’s disability. Eventually, Ennis studied towards a PhD in education for children with learning disabilities.
Tragically, Ennis Cosby was murdered at only 27 years old while changing a tire in LA in 1997. 18-year-old Mikhail Markhasev shot him in the head, and was sentenced to life in prison.
The Aftermath of Ennis’ Murder
Ennis Cosby’s death was a nightmare for both of his parents. Camille wrote an open letter about racism in the USA, though at this time, this wasn’t received well. Camille was even accused of worsening race relations.
The media coverage of the tragedy was insensitive and arguably racist. CNN showed aerial footage of Ennis’ body on the road, including closeups. At the time, Bill Cosby said of his son, “He was my hero.” Ennis was buried in a private ceremony to avoid the media.
Cosby’s Comments on the Black Community
As we’ve seen already, Bill Cosby occupied a strange place within the black community. On the one hand, he was an extremely successful actor, comic, and producer that broke barriers for African-Americans in the entertainment business.
On the other hand, Bill Cosby often offered his opinions on race relations in the US. The star often blamed issues within African-American communities on parenting, and made other moralizing comments, like, “You’ve got to stop beating up your women because you can’t find a job.”
Camille Cosby’s Reaction
Bill Cosby wasn’t tried for all of his crimes, but one did make it to court. Throughout this process, the star’s wife Camille stood by her husband. She said, “The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to love, is the man you all knew through his work.”
In a deposition, when asked whether her husband had cheated on her, Camille invoked spousal privilege and wouldn’t respond. She has also suggested that the accusations are racially motivated.
Camille Cosby at the Criminal Trials
During Bill Cosby’s multiple criminal trials, wife Camille Cosby only appeared once. The couple’s surviving children did not appear. Despite not being very visible during the trials, Camille did work behind the scenes and filed an ethics complaint against one of the trial judges.
Cosby’s wife has consistently defended her husband, and compared his case with that of murdered teen Emmett Till. Onlookers have commented on Camille’s devotion to her husband despite his apparent crimes. Many have criticized her.
It Was There All Along
After the shocking allegations made against Bill Cosby, people started to rethink some of his earlier work. In a 1969 comedy album, a 1991 interview, and in a 1992 book, the comic talks at length about substance Spanish Fly, especially in terms of unknowingly giving it to women.
In 2014, a former manager at NBC revealed that Bill Cosby secretly sent money to various women for years. He also claimed that the actor brought aspiring models and actresses into his dressing room.
Cosby the So-Called “Political Prisoner”
Bill Cosby was imprisoned at the State Correctional Institution — Phoenix, in Pennsylvania. Even when he was sent to prison for his crimes, the fallen star wouldn’t admit to any wrongdoing.
The actor thought of himself as a “political prisoner,” comparing his situation to that of civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr. and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela. Apparently, the comic remarked, “They want to entrap me to say I’m remorseful, or to say I did something I didn’t do.”
Meeting Erika Cosby
Let’s return to Bill Cosby’s kids, and see how they’re handling their father’s massive fall from grace. Eldest daughter Erika Cosby was the inspiration for Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux on The Cosby Show. She got a degree from Wesleyan University, then another from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and finally an MFA from Berkeley in 1991.
Erika Cosby is a successful painter and, like her mom, is interested in the effects of media images on African-American culture.
Friends of a Feather
Erika Cosby has contributed to her famous father’s work in more ways than just providing inspiration. When Bill Cosby wrote a children’s book to remember son Ennis in 2003, he asked his eldest daughter to illustrate it.
The book, Friends of a Feather: One of Life’s Little Fables follows three rare birds, and teaches readers to embrace their uniqueness be themselves. Erika has also worked as an adjunct art professor for NYU’s Steinhardt School since 2007. Her working name is Erika Ranee.
Erinn Cosby’s Troubled Relationship With Bill
Bill and Camille’s second child, Erinn, is also artistic, and known for her photography. Erinn hasn’t always gotten along with her father, and they were actually estranged at one point. According to a biography of the comic, Erinn developed addiction issues as a teenager, and dropped out of Spelman College during her sophomore year.
As a result, both Bill and Camille decided that their daughter “needed to learn to grow up the hard way.” Erinn has since gotten clean, and works as a photographer.
“She Can’t Come Here”
During their estrangement, Bill Cosby said of Erinn, “This particular daughter appears to be the only one who is really very selfish. She’s never held down a job, never kept an apartment for more than six months. She never finishes anything. She uses her boyfriends. She wants the finer things but can’t stand anybody’s else’s dirt, which is important.”
The daughter and father reconciled after the murder of Ennis. When Erinn was assaulted by boxer Mike Tyson, her father enlisted his lawyers to help.
Who Is Evin Cosby?
Youngest Cosby sibling Evin was the inspiration for Rudy Huxtable. Evin has said that she used to help Bill “pick out his clothes for his shows back in the day.”
Evin Cosby studied at Spelman College before transferring to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. When her parents suggested opening her own business, she opened boutique PB & Caviar in Tribeca, NYC. Evin has said her father is “basically […] what you saw on The Cosby Show.”
Evin Cosby’s Defense of Her Father
Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Evin Cosby wrote an open letter defending her father in 2017. Like her mom has, Evin referred to the media’s “public persecution” of her dad, saying it was cruel, and reiterating that he is not abusive or violent.
Furthermore, Evin claimed that the accusations harmed her entire family, not just her father. She referred to, “The harsh and hurtful accusations that supposedly happened 40 or 50 years ago, before I was born, in another lifetime.”
Evin Cosby’s Comments on Race
Much like her father, Evin Cosby has made some controversial statements regarding race in the USA. In an interview, she described herself as an “African-American elite” and said, “I don’t really have a connection to other people who didn’t have my lifestyle.”
She said, “I also went to private schools — Bank Street elementary, so I was surrounded by people like me. Not so much African-American, but privileged.” She has also said that false accusers should be imprisoned.
The Loss of Ensa Cosby
Tragically, two of Camille and Bill’s five children passed away at a young age. Ensa Cosby, the couple’s fourth child, passed away from kidney disease in 2018. Before she passed, Ensa was also supportive of her father, saying the accusations had “been one sided since the beginning.”
Along with her siblings and mom, Ensa also claimed that racism played a role in the scandal, saying, “My father has been publicly lynched in the media.” She commented that his legacy had been destroyed without proof.
Bill Cosby Incarcerated
Reportedly, when Bill Cosby was imprisoned, he had inmates assigned to him to help him throughout the day. This was due to the celeb’s old age, and the fact he has been legally blind since 2015.
When the disgraced star was in jail — around 20 miles from his family home — he didn’t want his wife or daughters to visit him. He was also denied parole because he wouldn’t attend a program to rehabilitate his predatory behavior. In fact, Cosby said he would rather serve the whole sentence than participate.
Overturning Bill Cosby’s Conviction
Shockingly, Bill Cosby was released from prison in 2021, when his conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court. This is due to a technical detail relating to the initial 2005 case against the star. In this case, prosecutor Bruce Castor assured Cosby that if he gave a deposition, he wouldn’t be prosecuted.
Bill Cosby was released after the court decided he didn’t receive due process. Because of this decision, Bill Cosby can’t be prosecuted for these same charges again.
Reactions to the Judgement
Of course, Bill Cosby’s release from prison was huge news, and prompted major reactions on all sides. The actor’s former TV wife on The Cosby Show, Phylicia Rashad, tweeted, “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted — a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”
After a wave of backlash, Rashad followed up to say that she didn’t intend to be insensitive to survivors. In response, Cosby himself defended her. Meanwhile, Debra Messing, Amber Tamblyn, and Rosie O’Donnell all expressed their sorrow and disappointment.
The Effects of Cosby’s Case
The case of Bill Cosby is an absolutely massive one in terms of celebrity, the legal system, and how we view crimes against women. The star was the first celeb tried and convicted since the #MeToo movement, and it’s possible that his freedom will prevent others from coming forward.
Some lawyers argue that this case will be impactful because it makes clear that prosecutors must stand by what they promise defendants. From now on, perhaps they’ll be more likely to get written rather than oral agreements.
What Happens Next for The Cosbys?
Since his return home, Bill Cosby has said that he looks forward to spending time with his wife and kids. Bill and Camille have been married for a whopping 57 years, and clearly, she’s chosen to stand by her man. Though the pair didn’t see each other for three years while Cosby was imprisoned, he returned home to her upon his release.
Though a barrier-breaking figure in entertainment, it’s clear Bill Cosby’s personal attitudes and behavior are something quite different.