Phylicia Rashad, the actress who played Bill Cosby's TV wife for many years, just broke her silence about the sexual assault scandal that has been plaguing her former co-star. She denounced the accusations that have been made publicly against Cosby by more than 20 women and said it was an orchestrated attempt to destroy Cosby's legacy. "Forget these women," she told ShowBiz411. Her support came on the eve of attorney Gloria Allred announcing that three more women have stepped forward with claims against Cosby.
We asked our Huff/Post50 Facebook fans and readers what they thought of Rashad's defense and here's what some of them had to say:
"How much did Bill have to pay her [Rashad] to say that?" asked Dee Nep. Cally Wood Doyle said she found it "very difficult to believe" that "someone hired these women to say all of these bad things." And Susan Stewart said that Rashad's "suggestion to 'forget these women' speaks volumes to her skewed perspective." Colleen Lawson said Rashad's comments caused her to lose "all respect for her."
Kate McGahan thinks it's just a case of universal denial. "We all, at first moment, said to ourselves 'Oh no, it can't be true.'" she said. But [Rashad] is in even "bigger denial because she (thinks she) knows him better than we do. It's all a process."
Others were a bit harsher. Donna Wohltman Kennedy said that "As long as The Cosby Show continues in reruns, she is making money from it. If they pull the reruns, no money for her. So I'm assuming she would want his legacy to be upheld, for her own benefit."
Lynn G. Coleman questioned "Who would want to destroy his 'legacy?'" She noted that Cosby is "a comedian at the end of his career." And as for why his accusers didn't go public sooner, she said, "they probably thought no one would believe them because of his family-man image. But once one woman came out with it, the floodgates opened. This happened with the priest abuse, too."
Vicki Hrivnak believes that Cosby is the one who "ruined his legacy!!" Hrivnak urged him to "own his mistakes and try to make it right before it's too late. All these women can't be lying and have nothing to gain by telling these embarrassing stories of being taken advantage of by a man in power...happens all too frequently."
Margaret Castillo Hernandez said that the "problem is that Rashad was not there when these woman went through what they went through, so for her to say anything ... she should just stay out of it and let Bill Cosby answer for himself."
Cosby is not without his supporters, of course. Nancy Nemeth Caracciolo wonders why Cosby's accusers "didn't come forward sooner," and adds that she thinks, "Bill Cosby is a good guy." And Melisa Cooksey Dulworth urged everyone to "let bygones be bygones" and just move on. She says that she "loves Bill Cosby to death."
Nita Roper Hutchison said she "would love to believe [Rashad] because this has broken my heart. I feel robbed of so many good memories of his performances. However, there is just so much smoke for there to be no fire. I think it is possible that some of the later claims are just attention seekers but can see no reason for [some of the] women [to be] coming forward. That said, though, I really hope that something happens to prove that Phylicia Rashad's faith in her friend is justified."
And then there's Susan Harden, who notes that the story just gets "more baffling every day."