Phylicia Rashad breaks silence on Bill Cosby scandal
Bill Cosby’s TV wife is standing firmly in his corner — even as three more women made accusations against the comedian.
Showbiz 411 reported that Phylicia Rashad, who played Clair Huxtable on NBC’s “The Cosby Show,” told the outlet that she never saw any indication of the behavior that many women have attributed to the legendary actor.
He has been accused of harassing, drugging and sexually assaulting multiple women. No charges have ever been filed against Cosby, and his attorneys have vehemently denied the allegations.
“Forget these women,” Rashad 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.”
More than 20 women have come forward with claims, and a defamation lawsuit has been filed against Cosby.
The long-admired actor and comedian has seen his reputation suffer in the wake of the allegations, including the cancellation of a planned television show and the suspension of the Cosby Chair for the Humanities at Spelman College in Atlanta, where he and his wife, Camille, have been longtime benefactors.
Three more accusers
On Wednesday, attorney Gloria Allred brought out three more women — Linda Kirkpatrick, Lynn Neal and a woman who chose to be identified only as Kacey — who say they were sexually assaulted by the comedian after being drugged by him.
Kirkpatrick, who met Cosby at a tennis tournament, and Neal, who was a health club massage therapist, said their incidents happened in the early 1980s. Kacey, a former employee of the William Morris Agency who was an assistant to a Cosby agent, dated her incident to the 1990s.
While introducing the women, Allred — who challenged Cosby last month to meet his accusers in court or set aside $100 million to settle their claims — addressed Rashad’s statements.
“Phylicia, you should be supporting these women rather than joining Cosby’s paid ‘attack dogs’ who are trying to undermine them in any way that they can,” Allred said.
She added that Cosby’s camp has not accepted either of the offers she made in December.
Rashad: ‘Someone is determined’
Rashad, who also starred as the actor’s wife on the CBS show “Cosby,” said she sees the controversy as part of a larger plot.
“Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV,” she said. “And it’s worked. All his contracts have been canceled.”
The actress said she loves Cosby and defended his wife, saying there was no way Camille Cosby would stand for such behavior from her husband of 50 years.
“This is a tough woman, a smart woman,” Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman writes that Rashad told him. “She’s no pushover.”
She also spoke on the legacy of the beloved show that cemented her and Cosby as one of TV’s favorite couples.
“This show represented America to the outside world,” she said. “This was the American family. And now you’re seeing it being destroyed. Why?”
Asked why she believed Cosby hasn’t spoken up to defend himself other than to say that the black media should cover the story with a “neutral mind,”Rashad said she believes he has too much pride to do it.
“If he spoke now, what do you think the media would do with it?” she said.