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Did You Know Erinn Chalene Cosby Was a Drug Addict?

The popular and controversial comedian Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille Hanks Cosby, have been married for 6 decades now. They have several children between them. Their second child, Erinn Chalene Cosby, is a professional artist and photographer. Aside from her father Bill’s controversy, Erinn has been through her own struggles and currently seems to be leading a quiet life.

Let’s dive into her life and find out her whereabouts!

Erinn Chalene Cosby: Second among her 5 siblings

Erinn was born on July 23, 1966, in Los Angeles, USA. When she turned 6 years old, she moved to Massachusetts with her family. She had one older sister, Erika, and 3 younger siblings, Ennis, Ensa, and Evin Harrah Cosby.

Bill Cosby with his family members including his daughter Erinn Chalene Cosby
The Cosby family has been through many hardships.

Unfortunately, Ennis was murdered back in 1997, and Ensa died in 2018 from renal disease.

She has the utmost Admiration for her mother

In Erinn’s words, she has traits similar to her father’s. She is stubborn and likes to be in charge. This fact has been a point of contention between the two. Alongside that, she has immense respect for her mother, Camille. She has always admired Camille for being independent in her thoughts, instincts, and goals, as Erinn had craved the same freedom in her life.

Moreover, the artist was also close with her maternal grandparents, who lived in Outer Silver Spring. She stated her best childhood memories were fishing with her grandfather on the Chesapeake Bay.

Cosby is well-read

Erinn attended various public and private schools. She ended up finishing her high school education at a boarding school in Pennsylvania. After graduation, she attended the women’s liberal arts college, Spelman College, in Atlanta, Georgia. However, Erinn ended up dropping out in her sophomore year.

Later, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in photography and imaging from New York University. She then enrolled in Fordham University to acquire her Master’s degree. Moreover, she has also done PhD in psychology from Temple University.

Erinn Chalene Cosby Has Been Married More Than Once

Unlike her parents, Bill and Camille who have been married for decades now, Erinn has not been successful in her marital life. According to sources, she was married to Edward Ruis at the age of 24 in 1990. However, her marriage with her first husband Edward reportedly lasted merely for four months. They also did not have any children together.

Later, in 1998, Chalene got married to Michael Cannaday. Her second hubby worked as a general practitioner of internal medicine. The two had known each other for four years before their wedding.

Erinn Chalene Cosby at her wedding with Michael Cannaday
The Cosby sisters together to celebrate the wedding.

The couple had their wedding at her parent’s house in Philadelphia. Former UN ambassador Andrew Young presided over the ceremony. The entire Cosby and Hanks family gathered for the big event.

Long-time family friends Phylicia Rashad and her son, William Bowles III, also attended the happy occasion. Moreover, all of Erinn’s sisters, along with her close friend Norma Jean Abraham, were the maids of honor.

Related: Is Bill Cosby’s Mother Anna Pearl Cosby Still Alive? 

Her artwork has been praised by many

After her divorce from her first husband Edward, Erin worked in the Art Deco Historic District in Miami and managed a few clubs. The lady also worked part-time in a gift shop, Fabulous, near the beach. In addition, she volunteered in fundraisers to discourage gay bashing.

Today, Cosby operates a studio in Philadelphia. Her artwork has been displayed in galleries in New York, Miami, and Philadelphia.

Bill Cosby's daughter Erinn Chalene Cosby at an art gallery
Erinn’s work has been displayed in several galleries.

As a photographer, her work tells the stories of different people from around the world. In the Art Sanctuary Gallery of Philadelphia, she showed the story of different people from places like India, Senegal, and Cuba over a series of over 70 photographs.

Her struggle with alcohol and drug abuse

In 1989, the October 10 edition of the National Enquirer reported about Cosby’s discharge from a drug rehab center. As per the tabloid, Erinn had been addicted to cocaine for four years and used to spend roughly $200 each day on drugs. Her parents had no idea of this until she wrote a letter to them six months earlier. She then joined a Rhode Island rehabilitation facility.

Later, she clarified that although she had experimented with drugs, she was not an addict and was not dependent on drugs.

Did her father himself leak the drug abuse story?

During the time frame of the exposure of Erinn’s drug and alcohol abuse, there had also been some gossip about her father dancing with Sammy Davis Jr. and some showgirls in Las Vegas. The story was a hit to his reputation as ‘America’s Father.’

Only in 2014, it was reported that to kill this news, the man allegedly gave an exclusive interview citing his daughter’s struggle with substance use. Nevertheless, Erinn herself has said an ex-boyfriend of hers leaked the news.

Infamous Feud between father and daughter

In 1989, Bill gave an interview to the Los Angeles Times about his estrangement with Erinn. He called her a stubborn and selfish person. The comedian said his daughter was someone who refused to take responsibility for herself and could not be trusted.

In the same interview, Bill stated,

“Erinn’s never held down a job, never kept an apartment for more than six months. She never finishes anything and uses her boyfriends. She wants the finer things but she can’t stand anybody else’s dirt, which is important.”

It was only upon Ennis’s death that the father-daughter duo reconciled their differences.

Erinn Chalene Cosby and Her Father Bill are currently amicable toward each other

Despite their early dispute, Erinn and her dad Bill lately seem to be amicable with each other. In 2023, Chalene even worked in her father’s TV program, Bill Cosby: Far from Finished as a part of the camera and electrical department. She also stood in support of him throughout his trials.

In the radio talk show The Breakfast Club, she said,

“I love my father and always have and always will. I believe in his innocence, and I know in my heart how he values me, my family, and the goodness that is in all people.”

Moreover, she also represented her father at the 125th Penn Relays along with three others in 2019.


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Accompanying her were Olympian Joshua Culbreath and his son Jahan L. Culbreath, along with Andrew V. Wyatt, Bill’s publicist and crisis manager.

Mike Tyson’s misbehavior towards her

In 1992, when Tyson was convicted of raping Desiree Washington, the tabloids also published the story about Cosby and the ex-boxer. An ex-boyfriend of Erinn had sold the story to the media.

In November 1989, the photographer had gone to a nightclub in New York with her pals. She ran into her friend, who had come there with Tyson. They had a brief conversation and stopped by Tyson’s house in New Jersey for a get-together.

Upon reaching his house, Erinn claimed the boxer had sexually assaulted her. She was able to run out before things got extreme. She informed her parents of this event, and Tyson presumably had to go to therapy for a year.

However, Tyson denied the accusations and declared the two had never been alone in the same room together.

Overview of her net worth

As a photographer and artist, Erinn’s net worth stands at around $1 million. On the other hand, her father has a jaw-dropping net worth of $400 million, while her mother’s fortune stands at around $20 million.

She currently resides in Philadelphia.