We are on day eight of Bill Cosby’s trial for an allegedly non consensual sexual encounter in 2004 — the trial commenced June 5 and continues this week as the jury reviews evidence and deliberates. Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played Cosby’s daughter Rudy on The Cosby Show, has supported the embattled comedian during the trial, attending the hearings herself, along with fellow Cosby Show veteran Phylicia Rashad. (Pulliam, 38, has been aiding Cosby, who reportedly can no longer see, as he walks to and from the courthouse.) On the Today show Wednesday morning, Pulliam defended her continuing endorsement of Cosby.
“I truly believe you’re innocent until proven guilty, and that’s just not the man that I ever experienced,” she explained. When host Hoda Kotb asked after Cosby's emotional state during the trial, Pulliam answered that the 79-year-old was "in good spirits" and "upbeat."
As for why she's showing such kindness to a man facing more than 50 accusations of sexual assault, Pulliam is abiding by the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. "I just thought about it like how would I want to be treated if, God forbid, I was in that situation," she said, adding, "[This process] is arduous. There's nothing happy, there's nothing good about it for either side. It's just not a good situation."
If Cosby is found guilty, the 38-year-old isn't sure what she'll do. "I’m going to have to cross that bridge when I come to it."
Pulliam and Rashad are two among a slim population willing to defend the comedian, whose "family man" image fell to pieces in 2014 after fellow comedian Hannibal Buress seemingly brought the accusations to light. In April, Cosby's daughter Evin Cosby wrote an impassioned essay in defense of her father, arguing that the accusations are as of yet unsubstantiated, and should be treated as such.
"Instead of going through the criminal justice system, these stories never got investigated and just got repeated. They have been accepted as the truth," she wrote.
Watch the full interview with Pulliam, below.
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