Family Matters Star Jaleel White Discusses Ex-Mentor Bill Cosby

While Jaleel White will forever be associated with his most iconic character Steve Urkel on the ABC sitcom Family Matters, the actor was almost on another culture-defining sitcom in NBC's The Cosby Show. White opened up about the audition he had on TV One's Uncensored. He initially read for the role of Rudy, Cliff Huxtable's (Bill Cosby) youngest son before the role went to Keisha Knight-Pulliam and the character changed to a girl.

LOS ANGELES - FEB 5: Jaleel White at the "The 15:17 To Paris" World Premiere at the Warner Brothers Studio on February 5, 2018 in Burbank, CA (Image: Kathy Hutchins/
LOS ANGELES – FEB 5: Jaleel White at the "The 15:17 To Paris" World Premiere at the Warner Brothers Studio in February 2018 in Burbank, CA (Image: Kathy Hutchins/

"I remember I just bawled my eyes out, bawled my eyes out," White recalled. "I fostered a relationship with Mr. Cosby, separate and apart. 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." The actor revealed the relationship soured with the comedic actor but didn't divulge why. White did, however, address Cosby's conviction in 2018 for sexual assault.

Family Matters Star Jaleel White Talks About Ex-Mentor Bill Cosby
Image courtesy of Warner Bros

"I actually had a bit of a falling out with Mr. Cosby. I kept that to myself," White said. "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. You know, it's a hell of a hindsight thing to look at, and 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." You can check out the rest below where he talks about his time on Family Matters including some more somber moments.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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