Phylicia Rashad broke her silence in a big way Tuesday on accusations of sexual misconduct by her longtime co-star Bill Cosby.
The Tony Award-winning actress told Showbiz 411 Tuesday, during an even for the film Selma, that she doesn’t believe a single word the women accusing the comedian have to say.
Rashad, who worked with the beleaguered actor for 10 years as Claire Huxtable on NBC’s The Cosby Show, initially declined to comment by saying she didn’t “want to become part of the public debate.”
However, she then said she had never seen any behavior by Cosby to suggest there is was ever any impropriety or any truth to the decades-old sexual misconduct allegations that have resurfaced in recent months.
“Forget these women,” Rashad said of the slew of women who accused the actor in the media.
“What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy,” she said. “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.”
Phylicia Rashad reportedly breaks silence on @BillCosby scandal http://t.co/EEumvrORRG pic.twitter.com/bMDgKRWfv2
— CNN Entertainment (@CNNent) January 7, 2015
But what about supposed legitimate sources like Janice Dickinson, who claims Cosby drugged and assaulted her, and Beverly Johnson, who alleges he drugged her?
“Oh, please” the 66-year-old actress responded to the question.
“Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV,” Rashad said. “And it’s worked. All his contracts have been canceled.”
Phylicia Rashad on Cosby abuse claims: 'Forget these women': http://t.co/fVvIQxstH1 pic.twitter.com/mgKpCAKTyk
— NBC Charlotte (@wcnc) January 7, 2015
She shared her distress that the Cosby Show is now “being destroyed.”
Rashid also expressed her admiration for Bill’s wife, Camille Cosby, who has publicly denounced accusations against her husband.
“This is a tough woman, a smart woman,” said Rashad, adding that there is no way she would look the other way if there was any truth to the accusations. “She’s no pushover.”