- Bill Cosby urged Howard University to support Phylicia Rashad’s “Freedom of Speech” in a July 4 statement.
- Rashad sparked backlash after celebrating Cosby’s release from prison last week.
- In Cosby’s statement, he also attacked the “mainstream media,” blaming them for the January 6 insurrection.
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Bill Cosby called on Howard University to support his longtime friend and former on-air wife, Phylicia Rashad, after she sparked backlash last week for celebrating Cosby’s release from prison after the Pennsylvania State supreme Court threw out his conviction for sexual assault.
In a July 4 statement via Deadline, Cosby offered support for Rashad, who played Clair Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” after she initially tweeted “”FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” in response to Cosby’s release.
Rashad’s remarks drew immediate ire and Howard University, the school where Rashad serves as Dean of the university’s Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts, condemned her statement on Wednesday.
“Survivors of sexual assault will always be our priority,” a statement from Howard said, adding that Rashad’s tweet “lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault.”
Rashad apologized on Friday to Howard University students and parents, as well as in a public Twitter statement.
Her original post appears to have been removed.
On Sunday, less than one week since his release, Cosby spoke publicly about the surmounting backlash, addressing Howard University directly.
“Howard University you must support ones Freedom of Speech (Ms. Rashad), which is taught or suppose to be taught everyday at that renowned law school, which resides on your campus,” Cosby said in a statement provided to several outlets by his spokesman Andrew Wyatt.
Cosby added, “WE THE PEOPLE STAND IN SUPPORT OF MS. PHYLICIA RASHAD.”
In addition to offering support for his former co-star, Cosby also addressed the January 6 Capitol insurrection in a bizarre segment, blaming the deadly pro-Trump attack on the “mainstream media.”
“This mainstream media are the Insurrectionists, who stormed the Capitol,” Cosby said via Wyatt. “Those same Media Insurrectionists are trying to demolish the Constitution of these United State [sic] of America on this Independence Day.”
Cosby, 83, was serving a 10-year sentence for aggravated indecent assault after being convicted in the 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that Cosby’s rights were violated when a former district attorney told him testimony in a civil lawsuit filed by Constant in 2004 wouldn’t be used to prosecute him, which it later was.
Cosby ended his statement appearing to address the suggestion that he was released on a technicality: “NO TECHNICALITY — IT’S A VIOLATION OF ONES RIGHTS…”