It seems that everyone has an opinion about the allegations against Bill Cosby, including many of his former Cosby Show family members — and they're not all exactly jumping to his defense. With so many of Cosby's sitcom co-stars speaking out, however, it can be hard to keep straight who said what, which is why we've compiled this quick guide to their responses so far.
Phylicia Rashad supports him.
Phylicia Rashad, who played Cosby's wife on the hit series, was one of the first, and few, to stand up for the famed comedian — and she quickly came under fire for it. Speaking about Cosby's accusers, Rashad was quoted by Showbiz 411's Roger Friedman as saying, "Forget these women," which sparked almost immediate outrage.
"What you're seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it's orchestrated," she continued. "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." She went on to argue that business motivations might be playing a role. "Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV," she said. "And it's worked. All his contracts have been canceled."
Rashad later clarified her remarks. "That is not what I said. What I said is, 'This is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of a legacy,'" she said. "I am a woman. I would never say such a thing." Whether those particular words were misconstrued, however, Rashad made it clear she stands by her former co-star.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner respects him as a friend and mentor.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who first became famous for playing Theo on the hit show, wasn't as quick as Rashad to jump to Cosby's defense, but emphasized how saddened he is by the situation at hand.
"I can't really speak to any of the allegations because obviously, I was not there," he explained to Billboard before quickly adding, "The Bill Cosby I know has been great to me and great for a lot of people. I can't speak on the other stuff."
But that wasn't entirely true. He went on to praise Cosby's contributions to television and the black community as "legendary" and then threw out a tepid sign of support for the star. "Just as it's painful to hear any woman talk about sexual assault, whether true or not, it's just as painful to watch my friend and mentor go through this," he lamented.
Keshia Knight Pulliam reminds us that he is innocent until proven guilty.
After being fired from The Celebrity Apprentice for failing to call on Cosby to help her cause, Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played Rudy Huxtable, went on the record to share her thoughts about her former TV dad's future. Like Warner, however, she decided to toe the line somewhere between offering mild support for the icon and saying she just doesn't know the answers.
"What I can say is this: I wasn't there. No one was there except for the two people who know exactly what happened," she told the Huffington Post. "All I can speak to is the man that I know and I love. The fact that he's been such an example, you can't take away from the great that he has done. You know, the amount, the millions and millions of dollars that he has given back to colleges and education, and just what he did with The Cosby Show and how groundbreaking that was." She then shifted her focus away from his achievements to the due process of the law.
"Ultimately, they're just that, allegations," she said. "You know, it's very much been played out in the court of public opinion. But we're still in America, where ultimately you're innocent until proven guilty. I wasn't there. That's just not the man I know. So I can't speak to it."
Raven-Symoné passionately sets the record straight.
Though she didn't address the allegations against Cosby as a whole, his former TV step-granddaughter, Raven-Symoné did take to social media to squash rumors that she may have been a victim of his abuse.
"I was NOT [taken] advantage of by Mr. Cosby when I was on the Cosby Show! I was practically a baby on that show and this is truly a disgusting rumor that I want no part of!" she wrote next to an Instagram pic of herself as a young girl. "Everyone on that show treated me with nothing but kindness." In case her desires weren't clear enough, she added one final line. "Now keep me out of this!"
Lisa Bonet (still) has no comment.
One of the only stars from the show who hasn't chimed in at this point is Bonet. If you're thinking, "Wait a minute; didn't she send some cryptic tweet about this?" you're not alone. Back in November, a tweet attributed to Bonet read, "According to the karma of past actions, one's destiny unfolds, even though everyone wants to be so lucky… Nothing stays in the dark 4ever!" The only problem was the message was sent from a fake account that has since been deactivated.
For her part, the real Lisa Bonet "continues to have no comment on the subject," according to her rep. So while she hasn't celebrated Cosby's possible demise, she also hasn't run to his aid.
Cosby has said very little to defend himself. The man at the center of the storm finally broke his silence in December, though he chose to address the press, not the allegations, when he said that he doesn't expect the media to play fair.
"Let me say this. I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral mind," Cosby told the New York Post. In the meantime, he seems focused on business as usual and has even returned to the stage.
Only time will tell whether other former co-stars come forward with their thoughts, but in the meantime, it's safe to say that very few people want to get their names tangled up in this story, including people who openly consider themselves his friends.
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