After decades of rape allegations against Bill Cosby picked up steam in the past several months, his longtime co-star on "The Cosby Show," Phylicia Rashad, has come to his defense. The 66-year-old Tony Award-winning actress told Showbiz 411 that she didn’t "want to become part of the public debate," but then went on to talk about what she believes is a vast conspiracy targeted at his legacy.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
"Forget these women," Rashad said of the many women who have made claims in the media. "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."
…"Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV," Rashad continued, referring to people other than the accusers. "And it’s worked. All his contracts have been canceled." She lamented that the legacy of the Cosby Show, a family-friendly comedy once beloved by millions of viewers, is now "being destroyed."
When asked why Cosby has chosen to largely remain silent in light of the claims, relying instead on his legal team to deny them, his longtime TV wife said: "If he spoke now, what do you think the media would do with it?"
To date, more than two dozen women have accussed Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them over the course of several decades. Here’s a timeline of the abuse allegations from Vulture. Cosby has declined to comment on the record.