Phylicia Rashad, who played Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, came to her TV husband's defense in a brief interview last night. Speaking to Showbiz 411 at a luncheon for the film Selma, Rashad claimed the accusations were not only false, but part of an organized plan to ruin Bill Cosby's career.
"Forget these women,” Rashad told reporter Roger Friedman. "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."
While Rashad has thus far remained silent on the 27 allegations of sexual assault leveled at Cosby, her stance was made unequivocally clear in these comments.
"Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV,” Rashad claimed, clarifying that she doesn't think it's any of the accusers themselves, but someone forcing them to make false accusations. When Friedman brought up the stories told by Janice Dickinson and Beverly Johnson (who published her account in Vanity Fair last month), Rashad simply replied, "Oh, please."
Rashad's statements come just days after Keshia Knight Pulliam, another Cosby Show alum, spoke out about the allegations after her appearance on Celebrity Apprentice. While Pulliam took a slightly more measured stance ("That's just not the man I know, so I can't speak to it."), Rashad clearly stands in defense of her former co-star and the importance of the work they did together.
"This show represented America to the outside world," she concluded. "This was the American family. And now you’re seeing it being destroyed. Why?" [Showbiz 411]