After Almost Being Shot By Cops, Todd Bridges Tells Why Johnnie Cochran Once ‘Threatened’ Him

Posted On : May 31, 2021

[L] “Diff’rent Strokes” Actor, Todd bridges; [inset photo] late attorney, Johnnie Cochran
Back in the day on Different Strokes, “Willis” was livin’ his best life as the adopted kid of the wealthy Caucasian dude, “Mr. Drummond.” However, if we were to ask actor, Todd Bridges, about his REAL life, he’d probably say there was a time when he was living the worst version of himself that he could possibly be.

He’s definitely had his fair share of ups and downs, throughout his  56 years. He recalled one such ‘down’ in his autobiography, Killing Willis, which was one of the scariest incidents of his life. It almost got him killed by police and caused his mentor, attorney Johhnie Cochran, to threaten him like he’d never done before.

What Todd Bridges Revealed Is Where Many Fans Never Thought He’d End Up

[L] “Diff’rent Strokes” cast; [R] Todd Bridges

It Started With A Woman Being His Downfall: “The high was so good, I came”

Todd Bridges says an old friend named Joelle- ‘a voluptuous White woman’ called him outta the blue one day:

“She was the one who got me hooked on methamphetamine. The first time she ever shot me up with meth, the high was so good, I came.”

She Called For Help & He Hoped For A Sexual Favor In Return…

He Willingly Obliged Her Request For Drugs

They had an “intense” sexual past, so when she asked him to ‘get her a sixteenth of speed,’ he hoped she’d give him a sexual favor:

“Her voice was real flirty-like. …Girls who needed drugs would do anything. That’s how I liked it.”

What Happened Next Was Like A Movie…

Cops Spotted Him

Even though Bridges was no longer an addict, he still copped the drugs for Joelle in Burbank, CA.. When he was on his way to deliver the good to Joelle, the cops started following. Spooked, he initially lost them. That’s When All Hell Broke Lose…

Unbeknownst to Todd, his Moms then received a frantic call from her friend, alerting her cops ran into a nearby store asking her if they’d seen him. His Mom left a message for him at home:

“Whatever you’re doing, stop it now. The police are looking for you.”

The Life-Threatening Traffic Stop That Nearly Killed Bridges

Todd continued:

“As soon as I heard the siren, I knew they had me. I pulled over. …’Get out of the car, right now!’ one of the officers yelled at me, his gun drawn. …Officers from the other squad cars…stood at the ready, legs wide, guns drawn. A drug dog barked and tugged at its leash. I had been through this before.”

‘I Wanted To Commit Suicide By Cops’

Todd Bridges with his then-attorney, Johnnie Cochran, in court

“I couldn’t face it all over again. I was totally demoralized,” wrote Todd Bridges. So, he contemplated grabbing his hidden 9mm gun to make the cops kill him:

“‘Forget it,’ I thought. ‘Just kill me now, because I’m tired of this life anyway.’ …I was ready for it all to end.”

He Decided To Comply, But Realized ‘Who Set Him Up’

“This was not how I wanted to end it. I wanted to live. I let go of my gun and closed up the secret compartment. …Now that I didn’t want to die, I was scared that they were going to kill me.”

When Todd got out the car with hands up, he says the cops and drug dog “ambushed” him to the ground. He realized Joelle ‘set him up.’ Todd Had An Unexpected Reaction…

His Arrest Was A ‘Sense Of Relief’

TB: “When they cuffed my arms behind my back, I knew it was all over. As they put me in the back of a squad car, I actually felt a sense of relief. …Now I had a chance at something better, if I could only hold it together this time.”

But Then Johnnie Cochran Stepped In With A Threat…

Cochran Threatened Bridges: “I’m done. Don’t call me. Don’t be my friend.”

TB: “Johnnie [Cochran] came down and sat next to me in the cell. …’This is the last time I’m going to help you with anything. If you don’t straighten your life out, I’m done. Don’t call me. Don’t be my friend. I don’t need you in my life if you can’t straighten yourself out.'”

Cochran Was ‘More Of A Father’ To Bridges Than His Real Father

TB: “Johnnie…had represented me in my attempted-murder trial in ’89. …And when my own father didn’t visit me, even once, while I was in jail for nine months…Johnnie had been like a father to me. The thought of not having him there to help me anymore filled me with panic.”

Bridges Soon Betrayed Cochran’s Trust…

He Got REALLY High After Cochran Bailed Him Out

Johnnie helped bail Todd out a few days later, but Todd confessed that he immediately got higher than he had in a long time after getting out.
Here’s Where Todd Bridges Is Now…

Clean & Sober…With Just One Recent Incident Under His Belt

Today at 56, Todd Bridges is reportedly clean and sober. In more recent years, Todd only made headlines for getting knocked out on camera, as he tried to help his female neighbor evict unruly tenants from her home.

Best wishes to the brotha going forward.