Following a Showbiz 411 report that Phylicia Rashad dismissed longtime friend Bill Cosby’s rape allegations by suggesting the women are orchestrating a plan to disgrace his legacy, the beloved television mom from The Cosby Show told ABC that she was misquoted.
Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411, who ran into Rashad at a Selma movie luncheon, said the actress responded with “forget these women” when asked about the more than 23 women who have come forward with details about Cosby’s sexual misconduct.
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.”
Rashad, however, maintains that her comments were taken out of context.
“I am a woman. I would never do that,” she said on ABC’s “World News Tonight With David Muir” on Wednesday.
“That was a misquote. That is not what I said,” Rashad said. “What I said is, ‘this is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of legacy.'”
Meanwhile, three more women have come forward accusing Rashad’s former television husband of sexual assault.
Attorney Gloria Allred introduced Linda Kirkpatrick, Lynn Neal, and a woman who chose to be identified only as Kacey at a Wednesday press conference — all women who say they were assaulted and drugged by the legendary comedian.
According to the NY Daily News:
Kacey said she considered Cosby a father figure for most of their working relationship between 1990 and 1996.
She said things turned freaky when Cosby invited her to his home to read a script for a possible part on his hit NBC sitcom – a script that ended with a “passionate kiss.”
Each time it came to the ‘kiss,’ I did not want to participate,” she said. “He was insistent with him pressing his body against mine and coming in for the kiss.”
At a later meeting at the Bel Air hotel, Cosby insisted that she take a large white pill to relax, she told a conference room packed with reporters.
“I declined several times, but he kept insisting, so finally I ingested it. He insisted that I open my mouth and lift my tongue to make sure that I swallowed it,” she said. “Next, I remember waking up in a bed with Mr. Cosby naked beneath his open robe.”
During the press conference, Allred addressed Rashad’s comments as told by Showbiz 411.
“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.
But while the women around Cosby — friends and victims — are speaking out, he remains mum on the allegations. On Wednesday during his first standup appearance since the lawsuits started coming in, he did address the crowd with this statement:
“I would like to personally thank you for giving me the opportunity to bring laughter back into your lives tonight,” he said. 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.”
We’ll keep you updated with the latest in Cosby’s saga.