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Why Bill Cosby Told Lisa Bonet He Took His Kids To See “Art-Porn” Film, ‘Last Tango In Paris’

According to Bonet, he deliberately took his children to see 'Last Tango In Paris' because he considered it an important film.

By 1987 Lisa Bonet had been a household name for years, in the character of Denise Huxtable, the sardonic, elegant teen daughter in “The Cosby Show.” It surprised nobody when she broke into film that year, starring opposite Mickey Rourke in the hauntingly sexy horror-noir “Angel Heart.” She was then nineteen.

Given its explicit sexual and satanic themes, Bonet had concerns about the public’s reaction to the film, and she took them to her boss, Bill Cosby, who played her father, Cliff Huxtable, in the family-friendly hit show. He was “very supportive, and remained so,” she said in 1987, even when she warned him about “Angel Heart’s” initial X rating. According to Bonet, Cosby “didn’t take it seriously,” adding that he deliberately took his children to see “Last Tango In Paris” because he considered it an important film.

“The Cosby halo has slipped,” she said.

This story is striking now, and not only in light of the dozens of allegations of sexual assault against Cosby — more than 50 women, at the time of writing, have come forward with frighteningly similar stories of meeting Cosby in private and waking up many hours later, disoriented, drugged, their clothes disordered or missing, and/or their bodies physically violated. For those who came of age in the 1980s these allegations were nearly incredible at first; “America’s Dad”— the creator of that preachiest of sitcoms, universally celebrated for easing racial tensions with his portrait of a lovable, perfectly ordinary upper-middle-class black American family — the beloved pitchman for Jello Pudding Pops — a sexual predator?!

Cliff Huxtable would never in a million years have taken his kids to see “Last Tango,” an art-porn featuring the anal rape of a woman played by the late Maria Schneider, then nineteen. In 2004 Schneider told the Guardian that the film had ruined her life, and that she considered the director, Bernardo Bertolucci, “‘a gangster and a pimp’ who’d taught her a harsh lesson: ‘Never take your clothes off for a middle-aged man who claims that it’s art.'”

And another thing: “Last Tango” came out in 1972, at which point Cosby had three children, ages 7, 6 and 3; we can assume, I guess, that he arranged or attended a private screening with them at some point after its release. Which — I don’t know. Even in 1987, Cosby’s kids were 22, 21, 18, 14 and 11. So… little as I like to judge anybody else’s parenting strategies, I can’t help noting that that is just a very weird-sounding family evening, especially for a professional moralizer whose stock-in-trade was “family values.” And yet the “Last Tango” remark was reported spang in the middle of the newspaper, without an eyebrow raised.

But. Cliff Huxtable is not a real person; however much we may love him, he is like a Potemkin representation, or even more, like the scoop of mashed potatoes that food stylists often use to represent ice cream during photo shoots. Looks so fantastic! Looks better than the real thing, in fact. So superficially perfect. So completely inedible.

It bears reflecting constantly on the comfortably bulletproof fictions behind which the powerful may be hiding terrible things. They are surrounding us on all sides. “America’s Dad” was so named because of the goofy but ultimately wise and steadfast Huxtable, the ideal fictional man providing the moral cover for the real, necessarily less excellent one. Because our love for the ideal can and will be exploited by the unscrupulous, if they possibly can. As the trial begins Monday morning, I imagine we will be hearing a lot about the Huxtable side of Cosby, the decades of “moral leadership” and the millions in charitable donations (those millions at least are real, unlike certain other charitable donations I could name). But how much will remain of Huxtable in a few weeks’ time is an open question.

[Bonet interview: Portman, Jamie. The Vancouver Sun; Vancouver, B.C. 27 Feb 1987: H2.]

This article was originally published on Death and Taxes.

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72 Philadelphia Cops Moved To Desk Duty After Racist Facebook Posts

Several dozen Philadelphia cops were taken off the streets and moved to desk duty after an investigation unearthed racist and offensive Facebook post made by the officers in question.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports advocates published a database that cataloged the posts in late May. Although all 72 officers haven't been disciplined yet, Philadelphia Police Commissioner, Richard Ross expects the officers will face internal consequences and several to be fired.

“Of all the things we have to contend with in this police department, of all the issues that we have to deal with, this is one we certainly could have done without,” Ross said during the press conference Tuesday (June. 18).

Ross' comments were made after a violent Fathers Day weekend that resulted in 28 people shot and five people dying.

With 3,100 posts tracing back to the Philadelphia cops, the investigation is being conducted by the department's Internal Affairs division and Ballard Spahr law firm. The racist posts were brought to light thanks to the Plain View Project. Founded in 2017 by a team of Philadelphia attorneys, they created a research database of social media posts made by officers in the community that displays violence, racism, and bigotry.

While the investigation will be extensive as it is going through a list of stages, Ross adds that "We are trying to deal with some of the worst postings first."

Each post is being analyzed closely as they have to consider if they are protected by the First Amendment. If protected, there will be no further actions. If not, the next steps will be discussed.

Philadelphia Police Departments social media policy states that their employees "are prohibited from using ethnic slurs, profanity, personal insults; material that is harassing, defamatory, fraudulent, or discriminatory.”

It has not been announced how long the investigation will take.

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Jada Pinkett Smith visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"at Rockefeller Center on January 21, 2019 in New York City.
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Jada Pinkett Smith Admits Having A Threesome Once: "It's Not For Me"

Part of what makes Jada Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk so captivating is her ability to keep it real. Now, the actress is taking things one step further when it comes to her sex life.

In a clip seen on People for an upcoming episode of RTT, Pinkett Smith shares how she engaged in a threesome when she was "very, very, young." In the episode, which will air Monday (June 23), Pinkett Smith answered a fan question in an honest way. She also added how it wasn't her cup of tea because of the lack of intimacy she felt during the experience.

“I didn’t like it. It just didn’t have the level of intimacy [I wanted]," she says as her daughter Willow closed her eyes. "But I tried it once and I was like, ‘Well, that’s not for me.’"

The recent "Trailblazer Award" recipient for the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, goes on to say in the episode that if she was in love with two people that the sexual experience could be different. "But I always think if I was in love with two people, that’s another level," she said. "I could see and join a threesome then, but I was a kid. I saw two cute people and I was like, ‘Hey.'”

Currently in season two,  Red Table Talk, has 6.2M followers on its Facebook platform. The series takes on conversations in an intimate setting with Pinkett Smith, her mother Adrienne Banfield Norris, Willow, and special guests.

Topics discussed on the show have ranged from breaking destructive cycles to healing emotional scars to unpacking white privilege and prejudice.

Check out the preview for next week's episode below.

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Maleah Davis' Casket Decorated With "My Little Pony" Rainbows

Maleah Davis' family laid their little girl to rest in a private ceremony, despite her disappearance and subsequent death meriting public attention. The 4-year-old's final resting place was a casket decorated as "My Little Pony."

The funeral was reportedly held last Saturday with close friends and relatives. A photo of the casket shows Maleah's full name--Maleah Lynn Davis-- written on the side and a copy of the obituary described the little girl as "happiness personified."

"She touched the lives of many; our shining, beautiful little girl, the light of our lives and the star of our hearts who leaves us smiling through our tears. She was happiness personified."

Maleah's disappearance earned national attention when Maleah's mother left her in the care of her fiance, Derion Venice. On May 4, Venice alleged he, his son and Maleah were attacked by three men that knocked him unconscious. When he came to, Venice alleged he and his son were fine but the attackers took Maleah.

After an exhaustive search that lasted weeks, investigators found Maleah's remains inside a garbage bag near Hope, Arkansas about 30 miles northwest of the Texas-Arkansas border. Investigators said Venice's story was inconsistent and he was charged with "tampering with evidence, namely a corpse." His bond was set at $1 million.

The cause and manner of Maleah's death has not be determined.

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