Phylicia Rashad Claims She Was Misquoted After Bill Cosby Interview Backlash: “I Am a Woman”

Phylicia Rashad
The day after Phylicia Rashad defended Bill Cosby in a controversial interview, the actress (who played Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show) claimed she was misquoted: "I am a woman," she told ABC News. 

Now she’s defending herself. Phylicia Rashad gave her first TV interview to World News Tonight with David Muir on Wednesday, Jan. 7, defending her recent controversial comments about Bill Cosby and his accusers after receiving backlash.

On Tuesday, Rashad — who played Cosby’s on-screen wife Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show — weighed in on the disgraced comedian’s ongoing sexual abuse scandal involving more than 20-plus accusers.

“Forget these women,” Rashad, 66, was quoted as saying to Roger Friedman‘s Showbiz 411. “What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. 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.”

Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad
Bill Cosby poses with Phylicia Rashad at the Today show in July 2013. Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

Rashad claimed to ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis that her words were misconstrued. “That was a misquote,” she said. “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 legacy.'”

Davis then noted that some people might have seen her “forget the women” comment as “dismissive.”

“I am a woman,” Rashad retorted. “I am a woman. I would never say such a thing.”

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Her new interview coincided as three additional Cosby accusers came forward on Wednesday in a press conference. During the presser, the women and their attorney Gloria Allred criticized Rashad for her Showbiz 411 comments.

“Phylicia, I vow to you that I will not forget these women, because women matter,” Allred read aloud in her statement. “They deserve respect and dignity. Phylicia, you should be supporting these women rather than joining Cosby’s paid ‘attack dogs’ who are trying to undermine them in any way they can.”

Watch part of Rashad’s interview above, and tune in to Nightline on Thursday, Jan. 8 at 12:35 a.m. ET on ABC.

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