11/21/2014 09:38 am ET Updated Nov 21, 2014

On Camille Cosby And The Problem With Asking, 'Why Did She Stay?'

Michael Buckner via Getty Images

Every time a wife stands by her scandal-mired celebrity husband, we eventually reach a point in the ensuing, endlessly looping discussion where we ask ourselves why she stayed, how much she knew, and whether her refusal to leave him is a reflection of her own shortcomings. If it were me, naysayers say triumphantly, he'd be out on his ass. You sure about that?

Camille Cosby has stood beside her husband Bill for nearly 50 years, through the births of five children, through one child's tragic death. Camille was there through Bill's famous womanizing, through career ups and downs, through a lawsuit that claimed that her husband had drugged and raped more than a dozen women. She was by his side years later, on November 6, when a milquetoast AP reporter meekly asked Bill, on camera, about the rape allegations, and she was there when he tried to bully the reporter into "scuttl[ing]" the portion of the tape that contained his non answers. She was there when Bill, a respectability politics devotee until the end, dropped the word "integrity" in an attempt to shame the reporter into doing his bidding. She's still there. Why?

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