Humor, Satire, Television

Huxtable Shocker: Sandra and Denise Aren’t Cliff’s

By Xavier Muhammad


The Huxtable marriage crumbled after Cliff (center) realized daughters Denise (far left) and Sandra (far right) weren’t his.

(BROOKLYN) She was an inspiration to working mothers everywhere, expertly juggling her husband and five children even as her career flourished. But in her new autobiography, powerhouse attorney Claire Hanks reveals there was someone else also in the picture. She had a white lover who fathered two of the children she raised with her ex-husband, obstetrician Heathcliff Huxtable.

“After our first child was born, Cliff thought my postpartum depression was a normal thing,” Hanks writes in Let’s Be Claire. “But I was really just so worried he would start asking questions about why the baby was so light. He never did.”

That first child, Sandra, was followed by a second daughter, Denise, also by the same lover. One longtime friend said the girls’ light complexions made it awkward when Huxtable proudly showed them off.

“I remember looking at Sandra and just being shocked,” says Sanford ‘Tailwind’ Turner, who ran track with Cliff in college. “I mean, Claire is a beautiful caramel and Cliff is a rich brown. There was just no way they could have had a little girl so light-skinned she practically glowed. And then when Denise was born, I looked at Claire kind of sideways from then on.”

Huxtable, on a speaking tour in Rocky Mount, N.C., had little to say about his ex-wife’s revelation.

“Mama’s baby, Papa’s maybe,” he said. “That just about sums it up, don’t you think?”

For years, Huxtable had no idea the girls weren’t his. He and Hanks became one of Brooklyn’s power couples, rubbing elbows with bold-faced names like Lena Horne and Dizzy Gillespie. Yet, early in their marriage, while Hanks was in law school, she was secretly carrying on an affair with her mentor, an older white attorney named Perry Mason. Hanks reluctantly ended that relationship only after she got pregnant a third time, this time with Cliff’s child.

“Cliff was always making these ridiculous faces and telling these same anecdotes again and again and again. Perry was a man,” Hanks writes. “But for the sake of Theo, who looked just like my husband, and my sanity, I had to commit myself.”

However, Hanks’ sister noted that around the mid-1980s, the Huxtable marriage began to crumble.

“They would see each other maybe once a week, and then in the summertime they wouldn’t be together at all,” says Sarah Hanks. “And when they were together, it was like it was just for appearances.”

That was also the time Huxtable’s suspicions emerged. Sandra dropped out of medical school and Denise left Hillman College after only two years.

“Cliff couldn’t see how two kids from his gene pool could be so cavalier about education, especially after seeing how hard Theo struggled with his dyslexia,” Hanks writes.

The end was near. The couple had a highly publicized separation in 1992. A 1996 reconciliation didn’t last, and they quietly divorced in 2000. It was for the best, say friends. The stress of living a lie made Hanks and Huxtable somewhat eccentric.

“They got weird. Started calling themselves Hilton and Ruth and pretending Cliff was a retired bus driver,” says Turner. “Maybe it was meant to be a joke, but no one thought it was funny.”

Note: This article is brought to you by the creative minds at The Peoples News.

© 2010 The Peoples News



45 thoughts on “Huxtable Shocker: Sandra and Denise Aren’t Cliff’s

  1. hilarious!

    Posted by barclay | March 22, 2008, 2:52 pm
  2. You guys are crazy. The Huxstables are royalty.

    Posted by Harold Brogdon | March 24, 2008, 4:13 pm
  3. that is too funny!! love it

    Posted by joni | March 25, 2008, 2:23 pm
  4. And yet people wonder if this stuff is real news of not. Too funny. I loved “The Cosby Show.” My daughter (11) lives it now. Gotta love those reruns.

    Posted by Quincy Ryan | March 26, 2008, 1:47 am
  5. Oh, no she diii- ent!

    Posted by KMan | March 26, 2008, 9:15 am
  6. Bravo! And I like the mention on “Tailwind Turner” Cliff’s track rival!

    Posted by Ms. Word | March 26, 2008, 1:57 pm
  7. I always KNEW something wasn’t right!!! My brother owes me 2 dollars AND a failed talk show!

    Posted by LeniceY | March 27, 2008, 4:19 am
  8. Claire would never do that! They took after her mother’s mother! Or Cliff’s father…or SOMETHING! LOL!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Donnica | March 28, 2008, 9:21 am
  9. Nice. I like the “Tailwind Turner” reference, and the way you ended it with the “Hilton and Ruth” reference to that unfunny late-90s show they did. Funny stuff. I always did wonder why the first to kids were so much lighter than the rest.

    Posted by ListenToLeon | March 28, 2008, 11:03 am
  10. Just curious, why did you choose Rocky Mount, NC as the location of the current speaking tour?

    If the idiots there read that, they’ll be mugging folks to steal their tickets…

    Great satire, as usual.

    Posted by mking | March 30, 2008, 9:17 pm
  11. i knew it! i knew it! i knew it!

    Posted by ksolo | April 1, 2008, 9:13 am
  12. Funnnnnny!! thanks

    Posted by Hilda | April 3, 2008, 9:21 pm
  13. I was suspicious for years. You guys are officially bookmarked!

    Posted by Sol Mann | April 4, 2008, 1:44 pm
  14. I was too through after the statement from “Tailwind Turner”! LOL!

    Posted by Tanisha | April 4, 2008, 1:56 pm
  15. Dang, I thought they got their complexion from Cliff’s father.

    Posted by Elle Mahoney | April 7, 2008, 11:19 am
  16. Cliff’s daddy wasn’t THAT light. Denise looks like Wednesday Adams!
    That Claire… I always thought no one could be that perfect…

    Posted by Bri | April 11, 2008, 9:10 am
  17. Yeah, I agree this is hilarious and that the seconod go round with the cosby show was awful.

    Posted by Jo | April 13, 2008, 1:38 am
  18. Cliffy had a few baby mommas of his own, somewhere in the projects, so it all evens out in the end. We can just only hope that all of these half brothers and sisters out there, don’t find one another and hook up or something…..

    Posted by Cracker Jack | April 13, 2008, 10:27 pm
  19. I’ve always thought something was up with Sandra and Denise!!! LMAO this is the funniest thing ever!!!

    Posted by Sasha | April 15, 2008, 11:09 am
  20. I found this article disgusting and appalling. The Cosby show was and still is one of the only positive black families on television. Whoever wrote this article should be fired. I think it’s a shame you need to make a black woman into an adulteress. Black people came in all complections. You can be as dark and have light children.

    Posted by disturbed | April 17, 2008, 2:25 pm
  21. Too funny! Thanks for making my day!

    Posted by Focused 1 | April 18, 2008, 2:34 pm
  22. “Cosby”, from 1996-2000, was a GREAT show! Almost as good as “The Cosby Show,” which ended in 1992. I think America changed. We’re not as open to clean comedy as we used to be.

    Then again, maybe I’m just a Cosby freak. I even liked “The Cosby Mysteries,” which everyone hated.

    Posted by CW | April 21, 2008, 11:32 am

    Posted by BTB | April 22, 2008, 8:29 am
  24. That makes sense now…LoL

    Posted by Me | June 28, 2008, 1:39 pm
  25. This is an insult. Why do people have to take a great, holsum, educational program and make it something sordid and tasteless. The Cosby Show was the only show 20 years ago that brought everyone home on Thursday nights at 8pm. M. “disturbed” was so right. African-Americans come in all shade and hues. It comes from black slaves being raped by their masters during slavery. Remember slavery? It sounds to me like one person’s ignorant stab at voicing his own stereotypes agains African-American brought on by talk show and the media today. This is not funny people. When will we stop taking every opportunity to demonize what is good and right. Why can’t Sandra and Denise just have lighter skin? It happens people. It happens all the time. Maury has not cornered the market on naming the right daddy. Its craziness people. Not funny. Please make it stop.

    Posted by Jay-face#1 | August 7, 2008, 8:31 pm
  26. I think it’s pretty funny, myself.

    Posted by CandyKay | August 11, 2008, 6:31 am
  27. Are people still freaking about this? Holy cats, a) “The Cosby Show” was just a TV program (thus its characters fictional), b) the article is satire (as is noted at the bottom of it) and c) the article was posted aeons ago.


    Posted by ophelia | August 11, 2008, 9:23 am
  28. I thought this was so freakin’ hilarious. I absolutely loved the reference about Cliff and Claire only seeing each other once a week, then never during the summer. You guys really are creative. For all of you that were offended by this story, please remember that this is just comedy- don’t take life too seriously!!

    Posted by Silky | August 18, 2008, 6:49 am
  29. Same thing happened in my family.

    Posted by asil | August 19, 2008, 11:39 am
  30. i thought this was extremely clever, not to mention hilarious!!

    *sidebar: someone should write an article mentioning sandra not being acknowledged in the first episode. if you recall the pilot episode, Claire asks Cliff (then referred to as Clifford), “Why did we have 4 kids,” referring to Denise, Theo, Rudy, and Vanessa. In all of the following episodes, they actually have 5 kids.

    Posted by misslady04 | January 28, 2009, 3:40 pm
    • The Peoples News responds: Good point, Misslady. And their house was different, too. Someone’s got some explaining to do.

      Posted by thepeoplesnews | January 28, 2009, 4:22 pm
    • haha I thought I was one of the only people that caught that. lol!!

      Posted by Mika | January 17, 2010, 2:56 pm
      • One word: PILOT. lol Things change. This was really funny, though. I always try to rationalize why they’re so much lighter. But it happens. lol

        And I loved Cosby with Hilton and Ruth. lol The turtle episode? I died laughing.

        Posted by Ruby | July 15, 2010, 7:54 pm
  31. Wait a minute, wouldn’t Perry Mason have been around 70? I guess she was into crusty old guys. lol

    Posted by Anonomyous | February 8, 2009, 3:42 pm
  32. If you ever want to read a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this post for 4/5. Detailed info, but I have to go to that damn yahoo to find the missed parts. Thanks, anyway!

    Posted by Ex Back | April 9, 2009, 3:10 am
  33. Not that I’m impressed a lot, but this is a lot more than I expected when I found a link on SU telling that the info is quite decent. Thanks.

    The Peoples News responds: Umm…okay…but this comment sounds strangely familiar.

    Posted by How to Get Six Pack Fast | April 15, 2009, 1:03 pm
  34. Here’s what happened: You know how when ‘other’ folks have kids, and some of them wind up with red hair, blond hair and dishwater colored hair, when the parents both are “brunettes”? And it makes you go Hmmm, them combos just don’t seem right? Well this is the Negro version of that. A little cream in the coffee made the Huxtables just another generic TV family! For example, Danny in the Partridge family has red hair. His mon is blond. Was his dad Irish? We don’t know, but nobody else in that family came close to that phenotype. Denise and Sandra was TV’s way of leveling the field.

    Posted by Jeffrey Williams | April 17, 2009, 10:36 am
  35. Has to be the funniest thing that I have ever seen. Oh The Cosby Show was one of if not the best show in history, I Love Bill cause he reminded me so much of my grandfather. Anyway article is definitely entertaining.

    Posted by Mika | January 17, 2010, 2:52 pm
  36. Too freaking funny! And the only thing that’s funnier is the small clutch of people actually bothering to get upset about it. I suppose the art of satire is just lost on some people. Great writing, guys!

    Posted by Stephan | May 13, 2010, 11:53 am

    (p.s. can you e-mail me, please?)

    Posted by LaBoss | May 17, 2010, 8:57 am
  38. Too funny.

    Could you have someone look into the Judy Winslow disappearance? It’s obvious her family doesn’t give a damn, but I do.


    Posted by JN | June 2, 2010, 12:22 pm
  39. Hahahahahah, brilliant. Especially talking about Hilton and Ruth hahaha

    Posted by Sanne | April 6, 2014, 7:05 am
  40. This answered so many pressing questions! Hilariously!!

    Posted by draya_d | February 7, 2015, 6:42 pm
  41. idiotic fan theory and ignorant to race just because their skin tone is lighter. no intelligence from this idiot who wrote this. really really STUPID FAN THEORY

    Posted by chris | July 11, 2015, 11:46 am

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