Phylicia Rashad Defends Bill Cosby Against Abuse Claims: You're Seeing the Destruction of a Legacy

She played Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show

By Francesca Bacardi Jan 07, 2015 1:47 PMTags
Phylicia RashadDaniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Bill Cosby's on-screen wife in The Cosby Show hadn't said anything regarding the allegations of sexual assault against him—until now.

At a luncheon for the movie Selma, Phylicia Rashad finally opened up about the claims that 15 women have made against her former co-star and defended him and his great career, which she said is getting destroyed by the scandal.

"Forget these women," Rashad told Showbiz 411. "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."

Although many of the women making the claims against the Ghost Dad star aren't part of the entertainment world, two of them are, and Rashad scoffed when Janice Dickinson and Beverly Johnson's names were dropped.

"Oh, please," she said, dismissing their claims.

Tony Esparza/CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

She did, however, defend Bill's real-life wife, Camille Cosby, who has stuck by his side throughout the entire ordeal. She described Camille's strong will, saying she "is a tough woman, a smart woman."

Camille previously has defended her husband, saying that the man described in the scandal isn't the same one she married.

"The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to love, is the man you all knew through his work," Camille said. "He is a kind man, a generous man, a funny man, and a wonderful husband, father and friend. He is the man you thought you knew.

"A different man has been portrayed in the media over the last two months," she continued. "It is the portrait of a man I do not know. It is also a portrait painted by individuals and organizations whom many in the media have given a pass. There appears to be no vetting of my husband's accusers before stories are published or aired. An accusation is published, and immediately goes viral."

Although Bill has been forced to cancel many appearances, his world tour will go on, with his next stop in Ontario. Rashad firmly believes that there is someone behind all of these allegations, someone who wants to see Bill off people's screens forever.

"Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV," she said. "And it's worked. All his contracts have been cancelled.

"[The Cosby Show] represented America to the outside world," she continued. "This was the American family. And now you're seeing it being destroyed. Why?"