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Phylicia Rashad — iconic actress, friend of Bill Cosby, and forever in our hearts as Claire Huxtable — broke her silence about the rape allegations the comedian she’s worked with for decades has been facing in recent months.

And it’s not what you want to hear from a woman you’ve idolized for years.

The highly respected Rashad ran into Roger Friedman of Showbiz411 at a luncheon for the movie Selma and talked briefly about the lawsuits Cosby now faces for his alleged sexual misconduct.

Rashad’s response? “Forget these women.” She also suggested that the allegations were orchestrated to mar the comedian’s legacy.

From Friedman:

Rashad, who is one of our greatest stage actresses, has kept quiet, didn’t seek me out, and even said “I don’t want to become part of the public debate.”

But knowing this she did say to me “I love him” about Bill Cosby. She stands defiantly behind him. She told me that in the years she’s known him, she has never seen the behavior alleged by the women who say they were drugged and raped, or sexually harassed.

“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.”

She continued, all but scoffing at the names of famous women who allege Cosby sexually assaulted them in their younger years.

Rashad dismisses claims from both Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson. “Oh, please,” she said when their names came up. She also is quick to defend Camille Cosby. “This is a tough woman, a smart woman,” she told me. “She’s no pushover.” There is no question, Rashad said, that Camille Cosby has not been complicit or looked the other way as her husband terrorized women for the last 50 years.

She said, “Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV,” alluding to people other than the women. “And it’s worked. All his contracts have been cancelled.”

Oh? Read the rest of Friedman’s interview here and let us know what you think about Rashad’s comments below.

SOURCE: Showbiz411 | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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