Cosby defends Phylicia Rashad after she tweeted her support of his release


Cosby defends Phylicia Rashad after she tweeted her support of his release

Bill Cosby’s on-screen wife is at the centre of controversy after tweeting her support for him when his sexual assault conviction was overturned.

Phylicia Rashad, who starred in The Cosby Show, tweeted on Wednesday that “a terrible wrong has been righted”.

The tweet was then removed. A follow-up post said she “fully supported sexual abuse survivors coming forward”.

Cosby has defended Rashad after Howard University, where she is a dean, said her first tweet “lacked sensitivity”.

The university, based in Washington DC, issued a statement that read: “Survivors of sexual assault will always be our first priority.

“While Dean Rashad has acknowledged in her follow-up tweet that victims must be heard and believed, her initial tweet lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault.

“Personal positions of university leadership do not reflect Howard University’s policies.”

Rashad played Clair Huxtable in hit 1980s TV series The Cosby Show.

In 2018, Cosby was found guilty of drugging and molesting ex-basketball player Andrea Constand.

But the 83-year-old left prison last week after serving more than two years in jail when his conviction was overturned by Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court.

The judges said there had been a “process violation” by the prosecution, but admitted their ruling was unusual.

In response, Rashad tweeted: “Finally. A terrible wrong is being righted – a miscarriage of justice is corrected.”

She faced criticism on social media, with some saying she shouldn’t stay in her post at Howard University, which appointed her dean of its recently re-established College of Fine Arts last year.

On Friday, CNN reported that she had sent a letter to students and parents, offering a “most sincere apology”.

In it, Rashad reportedly said she plans “to engage in active listening and participate in trainings to not only reinforce university protocol and conduct, but also to learn how I can become a stronger ally to sexual assault survivors and everyone who has suffered at the hands of an abuser”.