Keshia Knight Pulliam, perhaps best known for her portrayal of Rudy on The Cosby Show, was the first contestant to go on Sunday night’s episode of The Celebrity Apprentice, and today Donald Trump is catching heat for the reason behind it.
Pulliam was the project manager for her team–which included Kate Gosselin, Vivica A. Fox, Shawn Johnson, Bradi Glanville, Kenya Moore, and Leeza Gibbons–and led the group in raising funds for the charity Kamp Kizzy by selling pies. But when Trump told her to put in a call to her former television dad Bill Cosby, she refused, saying she didn’t feel it was right to ask for a favor when she hadn’t spoken to him in years.
“I have not talked to Bill Cosby on the phone in I don’t know how long. For me to pick up the phone having not talked to you for five years, except for when we run into each other for a Cosby event, I feel that’s not my place to do,” she said.
Trump said that while she is an “amazing” person, she failed to take responsibility for her team and their project. After the show aired, Trump took to Twitter to clear up some things; namely, that the episode was filmed before all the sexual abuse allegations against Cosby came to light. However, he says she still should have called in a favor regardless.
This show was taped just before the terrible Bill Cosby revelations came to light.She still should have asked him for money-goes to charity.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2015
Cosby has largely kept out of the spotlight since the allegations began coming to light last year, but the backlash was immediate. Over 20 women have come forward with stories of alleged abuse at the hands of the actor and comedian, including models Janice Dickinson and Beverly Johnson.