Phylicia Rashad: I Did NOT Dismiss Bill Cosby Accusers! (VIDEO)
Phylicia Rashad clarifies her comments about the Bill Cosby sex scandal on Thursday’s “Nightline,” claiming she was misquoted when she allegedly slammed his accusers. Still, Rashad is unwavering in her support of her former onscreen husband. Check out the videos below.
As Gossip Cop reported, Rashad broke her silence about the sexual abuse allegations surrounding Cosby in a chat with Showbiz 411, in which she was quoted as strongly defending the comedy legend and saying, “Forget these women!” Rashad, however, now says, “This is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of a legacy. I am a woman. I would never say such a thing.”
Rashad said that she could not speak to the specific claims, but argued, “We are really missing what is wrong here, which is, this is the United States of America. I know it’s changing, but it’s still the United States of America and there are tenets that we live by.” She went on, “There is the Constitution of the United States, which ensures innocence until the proof of guilt and that has not happened.”
“But what has happened is declaration in the media of guilt, without proof. And a legacy is being destroyed because of it. It’s being obliterated,” continued Rashad, who again expressed her belief that Cosby is the victim of an orchestrated attack.
Describing her “Cosby Show” co-star as “genius,” “inclusive,” “kind” and “generous,” Rashad said, “This has not been easy at all, but he’s not a coward. I don’t know what he will do in that way but I know that he won’t be hiding… He likes being around people too much and he respects people.”
Indeed, Cosby returned to the stage Tuesday for the first time since November, performing the first of three standup shows in Ontario, Canada, on the same day three new accusers came forward. The Associated Press reports that the comedian, wearing a sweater that read “Hello Friend,” received a standing ovation and told the audience he had a “wonderful time.” The venue was reportedly two-thirds full, with extra security on hand. There were protesters outside holding signs with messages like “Rape Is No Joke,” and allegedly shaming ticketholders as they entered.
But in a statement released after the performance, Cosby shared his gratitude for those who showed up. “Dear Fans: I would like to personally thank you for giving me the opportunity to bring laughter back into your lives tonight. Also, I would like to applaud all of you and give you a standing ovation for respecting yourselves, the theatre (Centre In The Square) and the event organizers that produced a spectacular show for the Kitchener Community,” said Cosby.
Later this month, Cosby has shows scheduled in Colorado, California, and Ohio, despite the cancellation of many other dates. Check out Rashad’s new comments below, and tell us what you think.