Phylicia Rashad Tries To Walk Back Bill Cosby Comments: “I Fully Support Survivors Of Sexual Assault”
UPDATED at 3 p.m.: Amid a social media backlash that had her name and “Claire Huxtable” trending on Twitter, Phylicia Rashad took to the social media site again to clarify her previous tweet in support of former co-star Bill Cosby, whose sexual assault conviction was overturned on Wednesday.
Rashad wrote, “I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth. Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing.”
Commenters on the post noted that Rashad’s previous tweet in support of Cosby was still up.
PREVIOUSLY at 11:20 a.m.: Phylicia Rashad, who played Bill Cosby’s TV wife for 12 years on two different hit shows, spoke out on Wednesday shortly after the comedian’s sexual assault conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The news came as an unwelcome shock to many in Hollywood, but Rashad was overjoyed.
While the comments on Rashad’s tweet were closed and unviewable save for people Rashad follows, less than an hour after she posted her thoughts, there were over 10,000 retweets with commentary on them. The term “Claire Huxtable,” the name of Rashad’s Cosby Show character, was quickly trending on Twitter.
Writer and producer Eric Haywood — Manifest, Power, Empire — said that, as a result of people retweeting Rashad’s post, his timeline “is filled with that big-ass photo of that rapist smh.
Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison, and has been serving time at Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institution at Phoenix. He had been found guilty in his second trial for the 2004 rape of former Temple University employee Andrea Constand. Cosby, 83, has maintained that they engaged in consensual relations
More than 60 women have claimed that Cosby drugged and assaulted them over the decades with a similar combo of pills and alcohol as used on Constand. Some of those women were among the onlookers at the two trials and the sentencing hearing in the fall of 2018. Additionally, Judge Steven O’Neill allowed current Montgomery County DA Kevin Steele in the second trial to have five other accusers, including ex-America’s Next Top Model judge Janice Dickinson, take the stand and tell their stories of being assaulted by once beloved Cosby.