How Lisa Bonet Really Feels About Bill Cosby Today

When you think of on-screen depictions of the rebellious daughter and protective dad dynamic, there's perhaps no better example than Denise Huxtable and Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show." Lisa Bonet played the free-spirited Denise, while Bill Cosby played the starring role of Cliff (via IMDb). Their fictional relationship was relatable and even aspirational for many families in the 1980s and early '90s, but things weren't so rosy once the cameras stopped rolling.

Bonet and Cosby reportedly have a history of disagreements and power struggles, much more complicated than the plots written in "The Cosby Show." First, rumor had it that the actress upset the TV dad by appearing in a sex scene in the 1987 film "Angel Heart" (via Refinery29). The following year, Bonet became pregnant with daughter Zoë Kravitz while starring in the "Cosby Show" spinoff "A Different World." Some suggested writing Bonet's real-life pregnancy into her fictional role, but Cosby wasn't having it, saying, "Lisa Bonet is pregnant, not Denise." Ultimately, Bonet was fired from the show.

Years later in 2015, Cosby was charged (though his convictions were later overturned) with sexual assault. Following their strained professional relationship, Bonet shared some not-so-positive thoughts about her former co-star.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Lisa Bonet sensed Bill Cosby's 'sinister' side

When Bill Cosby was first accused of drugging and assaulting numerous women, shock waves spread throughout Hollywood, as well as the American homes where families once enjoyed wholesome episodes of "The Cosby Show" (via ABC News). Everyone from A-list celebrities to fellow sitcom stars shared their thoughts on the accusations, though Lisa Bonet initially stayed quiet on the matter.

Her daughter, Zoë Kravitz, commented on the situation in a 2015 interview with The Guardian, saying, "[My mom would] plead the fifth, even to me. I think she's just staying out of it. She's just as disgusted and concerned as everyone else is, but I don't think she has any insight. It's news to her as well."

But by 2018, Bonet had a bit more to say about the actor, though she still seemed to choose her words cautiously. When talking about Cosby, who she referred to as "Mr. Righteous," the actress told Net-A-Porter, "There was no knowledge on my part about his specific actions, but ... There was just energy. And that type of sinister, shadow energy cannot be concealed." When asked if she sensed that Cosby had a dark side to him, she responded, "Always. And if I had anything more to reveal then it would have happened a long time ago. That's my nature. The truth will set you free."

Others agree with Lisa Bonet's negative impression of Bill Cosby

Lisa Bonet may have always been suspicious of Bill Cosby, and she wasn't the only one. Zoë Kravitz, who was born when Bonet was finishing her last episodes of "The Cosby Show," told Rolling Stone that she couldn't help but sense bad vibes of her own when looking back on the interactions she had with the actor when she was just a baby. In reference to a photo she found of herself on the "Cosby Show" set while Bonet was working, she said, "It's actually a really disturbing picture ... His face is not a sweet face at all. It's kind of creepy."

Besides Kravitz, Bonet's fictional husband on the show seemed to echo her impressions. Joseph C. Phillips, who played Martin, Denise Huxtable's husband, wrote an explosive blog post titled "Of Course Bill Cosby Is Guilty!" (via Entertainment Weekly). In the post, which has since been deleted, he claimed that a friend accused Cosby of "violating both her trust and body."

Other Cosby stars have mixed opinions on Bill Cosby

While Lisa Bonet and others in her circle believe Bill Cosby isn't to be trusted, some "Cosby Show" alums disagree. Some of Cosby's old co-stars came forward to defend and support the actor as he faced a sexual assault conviction. The actress who played Cosby's on-screen wife, Phylicia Rashad, sounded off on the allegations against Cosby in 2015, telling Showbiz 411, "What you're seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it's orchestrated." When Cosby was released from prison in 2021, Rashad openly celebrated, announcing, "A miscarriage of justice is corrected!" Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played Cosby's daughter, also expressed her support, as she didn't think that the allegations made fit Cosby's character.

Other "Cosby" stars have avoided taking a firm stance. Raven-Symoné remained diplomatic when commenting on Cosby's trial, telling People, "I want everybody who deserves justice to get justice." Cosby's TV son, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, also took a somewhat neutral stance in an interview with Billboard. The actor explained that while it's difficult to watch Cosby suffer accusations, it's also hard to hear women open up about sexual trauma. Warner summed up his thoughts, saying, "I can't really speak on any of the allegations because obviously, I was not there."

Even after the convictions against Cosby were overturned, his reputation is unlikely to ever be fully repaired. And when it comes to Bonet, it's safe to assume she'll continue keeping her distance from the actor.