Bill Cosby, who was born in Philadelphia on July 12, 1937, dropped out of college to pursue a career in comedy. Cosby turned his comedy into albums after touring widely and landing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1963. Between 1964 and 1971, he won seven consecutive Grammy Awards for his work. When Cosby transitioned to television, he was the first black man to feature in NBC’s 1965 special agent adventure series I Spy. Cosby went on to hit critics and gold with his portrayal of a wealthy black family in the seminal 80s hit The Cosby Show. He earned a fortune in television and ads while projecting a pleasant attitude and serving as a positive role model for generations of fans, earning the nickname “America’s Dad.” The show aired from 1984 to 1992.
Bill Cosby went on trial on September 24 for a sentencing hearing to decide his sentence for sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. A jury convicted the comedian guilty of drugging and raping Constand at his Pennsylvania home in April 2018. Cosby has also been accused of rape or sexual assault by more than 60 other women. However, criminal charges were not filed in these other cases because the statute of limitations had already expired in most cases.
Bill Cosby Net Worth
As of 2021, Bill Cosby net worth is $400 million. Bill Cosby was the highest-paid artist in the world in the 1980s, and he was known throughout the world for his role as Dr. Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable on The Cosby Show. The show was such an astronomical success that, according to Forbes , it generated “$4 million per episode when sold into syndication, with reruns generating over $1.5 billion over the past two decades. And according to the Chicago Tribune , Cosby pocketed $166 million from the original syndication deal brokered by Viacom.
Cosby turned his television fame and success into a rich television commercial business, eventually becoming one of the most well-known pitchers of all time. Del Monte, Ford, Crest, Coca-Cola, Kodak, and of course, Jell-O pudding, are just a few of the big brands that wanted a piece of the Cosby pie. He was so good at selling American products that he was inducted into the Advertising Federation of America Hall of Fame in 2011. (The honor was rescinded in May 2018.)
The Cosby Show isn’t a moneymaker anymore
Since its launch on September 20, 1984, The Cosby Show has been a staple of network programming and a syndication cash cow for Bill Cosby in prime time and reruns. However, after allegations of sexual assault against the comedian surfaced in 2014, the networks jumped ship. TV Land immediately stopped showing the episodes. Netflix quickly followed suit, dropping a special set of recorded comedy for a premiere later in the year.
And following his 2018 guilty verdict, that reliable source of income that Cosby had relied on for so long ceased to exist. Later, Bounce removed the Cosby Show from the schedule.
Bill Cosby’s legal bills add up
Bill Cosby’s mounting legal bills left him struggling to get money. Cosby wanted to take out a “$30 million loan” on his 12,000 square foot Upper East Side property he acquired in 1987 which means Cosby must be desperate because the banks won’t give him money,” the source told the publication. “Which implies Cosby must be desperate since the banks won’t lend him money,” the person told the magazine. Bankers were concerned that forcing the purchase would prevent them from selling the house since any possible buyer “would be put off by the thought of what may have happened to the house over the years” and the fact that they would “sleep in Cosby’s room.”
Cosby was sued by a former member of his defense team “for almost $50,000 in unpaid fees.” The civil suit brought by Philadelphia-based law firm Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis was a “disagreement over the amount of legal fees charged,” according to Joe P. Green, Cosby’s attorney, and Cosby tried to settle it through mediation after paying Bill “despite the promise to do so.”
Depleted Bill Cosby’s bank accounts
Former NBC employee Frank Scotti said that from 1989 to 1990, he assisted Bill Cosby in making payments to eight women. Shawn Thompson, who supposedly took $100,000 from Cosby and whose daughter later claimed Cosby was her father, which Cosby denied, was one of the women. Scotti claimed he was unaware that he was used as a conduit by Cosby to pay women and to act as a guard when the comedian invited women into his locker room. Scotti said, “He fooled everyone.” “No one had any doubts about him.”
Scotti also claims that Cosby once gave him “a satchel of money, all $100 dollars,” which he used to provide money orders to women in his own name so they couldn’t be traced back to Cosby. “I did a lot of crazy things for him…I realized that later,” Scotti said.
Bill Cosby could go bankrupt before he dies
Several of Bill Cosby’s financial mistakes might destroy his entire fortune — a process that could continue long after his death if civil lawyers continue to successfully chip away at his estate. Saying that Cosby’s financial maneuver “doesn’t resemble the behavior of a man with millions upon millions to burn,” Cosby did not set up a trust to protect his cash and liquid assets and pass on to his “four” living daughters and three grandchildren.
…but his portfolio still looks strong
‘While Bill Cosby looks to be strapped for cash as a result of his legal problems, his illiquid assets are still worth a lot of money. Cosby’s real estate assets are sufficient to cover the average person’s financial demands for more than a lifetime. His nearly 9,000 square foot main home outside of Philadelphia, three multimillion-dollar homes in Los Angeles, a 21-acre estate in Massachusetts with a land value of $2.7 million — just the land, not the property — and the above New York townhouse, which he bought in 1987 for $6.2 million, are among them.
Some of Cosby’s legendary “huge collection of African-American art” was lent to the Smithsonian for a controversial November 2015 exhibit. Many disagreed with the display of pieces from the disgraced star’s collection, as it potentially increased the value of the work, and while there is no estimated value for the total collection, a good indicator of its overall value is as follows: The Smithsonian “offered” Cosby $716,000 simply to stage a part of the exhibit’s collection.
In November 2018, Cosby’s wife sold one of the over 300 paintings in the collection and “promised” to sell another “as collateral for a loan from a painting company.” art funding. Only the transportation costs for these two sales are projected to be $12-14 million.