Phylicia Rashad Tells Nightline She Holds Bill Cosby in “High Regard,” Never Saw “Anything Inappropriate”

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Phylicia Rashad insists she “never saw anything inappropriate” in all the years she worked on set with Bill Cosby, and continues to hold the controversial comedian in “high regard” in both her heart and mind.

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The actress sat down with ABC’s Nightline on Wednesday, Jan. 7, and continued her assertions that some third party with something to gain from preventing Cosby’s return to network television was behind the seemingly never-ending accusations against her former co-star.

Three additional Cosby accusers came forward on Wednesday, and their attorney Gloria Allred criticized Rashad’s instructions to “forget these women” (words Rashad told ABC’s Linsey Davis were misquoted by Showbiz 411, though reporter Roger Friedman insists they were only misinterpreted).

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But refusing to mince her words, Rashad, 66, had a clear message for Nightline viewers.

“What do you say to the women who have told these stories of abuse?” Davis asked.

“What can I say to these women whom I don’t know? What can I say to things that you are hearing, when I’m telling you what I’ve seen? I’m telling you what I’ve experienced. What can I say?” she answered.

Phylicia Rashad
Phylicia Rashad on Nightline last night ABC

Rashad revealed she suspected foul play when she heard the first few allegations against her former TV husband.

“My initial reaction to the allegations was, ‘Hmm. Someone has a vested interest in preventing Mr. Cosby’s return to network television,'” she said, revealing she spoke to her old friend at that time.

“I did talk to him towards the beginning of all of this and his comment then was that the Internet has given some anonymous people a very loud voice.”

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Rashad insists she has no evidence that any of the accusations against Cosby are founded. “What I saw was fun. Never anything inappropriate. What I saw was work. Mrs. Cosby was a frequent visitor to the studio, that’s what I saw,” she insisted.

“I haven’t spoken to him recently, but speaking to the character of the man I know this has not been easy at all,” she added. “I don’t have all the answers, but I think in the hearts and minds of many people, he is held in high regard. And absolutely I do, yes I do.”

As Rashad appeared on Nightline, Cosby himself was making a public appearance on stage in Ontario, Canada, where he received a standing ovation despite a small protest of a dozen people outside the theater.

Watch Rashad’s entire Nightline interview above.  

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