Bye Phylicia: Actress Defends Bill Cosby Against Rape Claims, Says People Should “Forget These Women”

Clare Huxtable, no. Bill Cosby’s long-time TV wife Phylicia Rashad has finally spoken out about the insanely lengthy sexual assault allegations against the entertainer, and it isn’t pretty. Speaking with Showbiz 411, Rashad scoffed at the allegations — from over 20 women — and called them “orchestrated” and the “destruction of a legacy,” seemingly because she, herself, had never witnessed Cosby rape or sexually assault anyone. So it must be a conspiracy! Rashad told Showbiz 411:

“Forget these women. 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. … Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV. And it’s worked. All his contracts have been cancelled. …This show represented America to the outside world. This was the American family. And now you’re seeing it being destroyed. Why?”

Forget these women. Let me make something clear. I’m not surprised that it is very difficult for Cosby’s longtime friends to wrap their brains around the idea that the man they know and love could be a monster who has had drugged and/or sexually assaulted nearly two dozen women that we know of. I don’t even necessarily begrudge those friends for speaking out by saying they’d never witnessed such behavior and attesting to their own positive experiences with Cosby. I don’t think those positive experiences negate or really have anything to do with the claims made by women like Beverly Johnson, Janice Dickinson, Andrea Constand and Barbara Bowman. (In fact, I would argue that Cosby’s reputation friends like Rashad and his America’s Favorite Dad persona onscreen were part of a well-crafted cover for his off-screen behavior. Predators are sneaky like that.) But for Phylicia Rashad to actually publicly dismiss these women and their stories as if they are nothing but a nuisance is disgusting and enormously insulting to all survivors of sexual assault. So, allow me to be one of many who will say today, BYE PHYLICIA. For good. [Gawker]