Updated Thursday, Jan. 8, 12:20 p.m. ET: Amid a formidable backlash, Phylicia Rashad, Bill Cosby’s TV wife, told ABC News Wednesday she was misquoted in a report on her feelings about the charges plaguing her former co-star, the Washington Post reports.
In remarks first reported by Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411, Rashad sounded almost dismissive of women who have accused Cosby of drugging or sexually assaulting them, drawing strong criticism from supporters of the growing number of victims and survivors of sexual assault.
“Forget these women,” Rashad reportedly said. “What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture.”
On Wednesday night, Rashad told Linsey Davis of ABC: “That is a misquote, and that is not what I said. What I said is this is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of legacy.”
Friedman published a clarification late Wednesday night, apologizing for the error.
Meanwhile, three more accusers came forward at a press conference Wednesday, including a woman who said she was former assistant to Cosby’s late-agent at William Morris, Tom Illius, the Post writes.
The assistant, identified only as “Kacey,” accused Cosby of drugging her at a meeting while she was working for Illius, who died in 2011. Kacey said Cosby insisted that she take a white pill he offered her to “relax.”
Cosby, 77, did not respond to the new charges, but his lawyers have vociferously denied the accusations in the past.
Amid the swarming scandal, Cosby resumed performances on his “Far From Finished” tour Wednesday night with a show at Centre in the Square theater in Kitchener, Ontario. Those who attended were greeted by protesters, the news outlet writes.
Actress Phylicia Rashad (pictured bottom right), who played “Claire Huxtable” on “The Cosby Show,” finally stepped into the fray to address the sexual assault allegations against her former TV husband Bill Cosby, calling the controversy a well-coordinated smear campaign and nothing more, according to USA Today, citing a report at Showbizz 411.
“Forget these women,” Rashad told the entertainment news outlet Tuesday, while attending a special luncheon in honor of the release of the film “Selma.”
USA Today reports:
“What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated,” Rashad continued. “I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture … Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV, and it’s worked. All his contracts have been canceled.”
It was the second vote of confidence expressed by castmates of the embattled star in as many days. During an appearance on the “Today” show Monday, Keisha Knight Pulliam (pictured below), who played the adorable youngest child, Rudy, called the allegations against Cosby “just that – allegations. We live in America, where you’re innocent until proven guilty,” she said. “All I can speak to is the man that I know and I love.”
Pulliam made the appearance after she was fired from Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” for refusing to call Cosby to ask for a charity donation. Trump tweeted after the show that the episode was filmed before sexual allegations against the once-beloved comedian grabbed the spotlight.
Indeed, the timing of the expressions of support couldn’t come at a better time for the 77-year-old star who has seen his reputation and career tank in the last several months as accusers have lined up to make sexual assault claims against him. Amid the claims, some wondered why female castmates of “The Cosby Show” were not speaking up for him. Because of the silence, imaginations ran wild with speculation, although his wife and daughter spoke out in support of him.
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