Steve Harvey Stands By Bill Cosby: ‘When I’m Your Friend, I’m Your Friend’

Bill Cosby and Steve Harvey attend Screen Gems Presents The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on May 14, 2012 in New York City.
Bill Cosby and Steve Harvey attend Screen Gems Presents The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on May 14, 2012 in New York City. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation

Steve Harvey is standing by his mentor and longtime friend Bill Cosby. Harvey, 60, opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about his relationship with Cosby, 79, saying that he is still supportive of him even after Cosby was accused of sexual assault by dozens of women.

“I haven’t talked to him in a few months, but when I’m your friend, I’m your friend,” Harvey said. “And Bill Cosby helped my sons at Morehouse [College], and he taught me how to do this business. He didn’t even know me and he taught me how to do this business.”

The talk show host revealed that he reached out to Cosby about his legal situation and The Cosby Show star urged him to “stay away.”

“When I heard all the trouble he was in, I called and asked him how he was doing. You know what he says to me? ‘Hey man, I appreciate you calling, but just stay away from me right now. You don’t need none of this on you. You’re doing good. Whatever happens to me, happens to me, but don’t you get none of this on you.’ That’s an amazing thing for a guy to say,” Harvey revealed.

The topic came up after the Family Feud host said that he still believes Hollywood is more racist than America, which is why there are not many TV shows starring black actors and the only way to change it is through success.

Black-ish has got to be successful at it. The Carmichaels have got to go and be successful at it. There was The Cosby Show, but the problem there was that they could never find another Bill, a guy that was that likable on TV,” he said to THR. “Now they’re knocking statues down, peeling names off of walls. They’re doing everything but giving money back. They’re not giving no money back.”

Phylicia Rashad has spoken out in defense of her former costar, telling Showbiz 411 that the accusations were a “destruction of a legacy.” Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played Cosby’s youngest daughter, Rudy Huxtable, on The Cosby Show also vocally supported her former TV dad in an interview with the Today show on June 14.

“At the end of the day I truly believe you’re innocent until proven guilty, and that’s just not the man that I ever experienced,” the actress, 38, told Today. “I just thought about it, how would I want to be treated if, God forbid, I was in that situation?”

“It’s easy to be there for someone when things are good, when business is good, when money is good, when all of these things [are good],” she added. “I just felt like I wanted to do what I would have wanted to receive.”

Cosby’s sexual assault case ended in a mistrial on June 17 after jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault of which the actor had been charged. A retrial for the case has been scheduled to start on November 6.

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