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What’s up with Bill Cosby? – A perfect example of the duplicitous narcissist

Isn’t it disappointing to watch “America’s Father” be denigrated to nothing more than an over-sexed womanizer, or even worse, a rapist?  Or perhaps “disappointing” is an understatement. Perhaps another term describes it better; “Devastating?” Who saw that coming?  I know I certainly didn’t.

As all the publicity about Bill Cosby’s indiscretions are revealed to the point that now the celebrity has been accused of sexually accosting over 50 women, and charged with three felonies of “sexual assault” with a sentence, at age 80, of 30 years in prison, we are brought face-to-face to the master manipulation capabilities of a narcissist.

I hear day in and day out about how people living with a narcissist experience something vastly different from the person the public sees. Narcissists display two personas – a public self and a private self. Bill Cosby is a perfect example of that. I think it’s important to bring this to light, because victims of abuse are so often dis-believed.  Others doubt them, and in turn, they doubt themselves. They lose their own intuition.

Victims of abuse seek counseling from church pastors, therapists, and other “healers” for their relationship problems with a narcissist, only to be accused of causing or contributing to the relationship problems; when the truth is, the personality disordered person is a fraud, and he creates the problems.

Mark my words: It is impossible to have a healthy relationship with a narcissist.  Yes, you can have a relationship with a narcissist, but it will never be healthy.  You will never have the empathic connection required to live in a state of emotional and mental well-being in that relationship.

On top of that, NO ONE sees it! It is amazing how Bill Cosby pulled this off for decades, if not, almost an entire lifetime. So many abusers get away with their abuse, and this is a perfect example of how it happens. NO ONE wants to believe that the reality of Cosby, which engenders hope in a stable, patriarchal, compassionate father figure, is not who he appears to be.

We all need to believe that goodness exists and Bill Cosby was the personification of light-hearted, fun-loving, security. He represented everyone’s “safe place.”

But, it was all a charade.  The Bill Cosby the public knew was merely smoke and mirrors.

No one sees it; except the victims themselves. And, in families with narcissistic members, the narcissistic parent often seemingly has great relationships with both those in his family and outside of it; but the rub is, narcissists are dedicated to “image management.”  Only the intimate few know that he is a phony and master-manipulator, and he rarely treats those closest to him with true compassion.  He merely acts loving in front of others in order to manage his phony image.

This truth adds insult to injury, as victims of abuse are slandered, not believed, and invalidated by the general public, and even close friends. They usually suffer in silence.

This is why I’m writing this article – because I am so frustrated with seeing how narcissists “get away with it” all the time. I have come to learn that only people in close relationships with narcissists see the truth and so often they stand alone with this truth, struggling to be seen and heard by someone else.

This Bill Cosby scandal is such a perfect example for all to see what people in narcissistic homes already realize. No one sees that, “The Emperor Has No Clothes,” except a few.  Bill Cosby’s nakedness just got exposed (no pun intended.) The world is shocked.

And Cosby’s response when prosecutors were concerned that he might be a flight risk:  “He doesn’t have a plane, you asshole!” I don’t remember Fat Albert of Mr. Huxtable ever calling anyone an “asshole.”  It doesn’t fit. This reality causes cognitive dissonance.

Because I never heard Bill Cosby use such language, I would never have assumed he would talk that way; because of this, I have a hard time even breaking out of my own denial that he would be anyone other than what his mask had so faithfully portrayed throughout all these many decades.

Part of the problem with narcissists, is that they are delusional, become more so with age, and are amazingly convincing because the truth is they are convinced of their delusions; they believe their own lies.


Reference:  Reuters Staff. (April 26, 2018). Bill Cosby, once beloved ‘America’s Dad,’ convicted of sexual assault. Reuters. Retrieved from:

What’s up with Bill Cosby? – A perfect example of the duplicitous narcissist

Sharie Stines, Psy.D

Sharie Stines, Psy.D. is a recovery expert specializing in personality disorders, complex trauma and helping people overcome damage caused to their lives by addictions, abuse, trauma and dysfunctional relationships. Sharie is a counselor at LIfeline Counseling & Education Inc., in Southern California ( Lifeline Counseling is a non-profit organization 501(c)(3) corporation. Sharie is also an abusive relationship recovery coach -


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APA Reference
Stines, S. (2018). What’s up with Bill Cosby? – A perfect example of the duplicitous narcissist. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 11, 2018, from