Carroll Baker – one of the last living stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age – branded Bill Cosby‘s prison sentence ‘a sin’ and criticized the dozens of women who accused him of rape in an interview one day before his sexual assault conviction was overturned last week.
Baker, 90, who is best known for her starring role in the 1956 film Baby Doll, voiced her support for Cosby on The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast, which was recorded on June 29 and released Tuesday.
The outlet reported that Baker brought up the embattled comedian unprompted, saying: ‘My heart is broken for Bill Cosby.
‘Bill Cosby did not deserve, at his age and in the condition he’s in. … He’s a wonderful human being, absolutely wonderful, and I can’t bear the fact that he’s in prison.’
Carroll Baker (left in 2011 and right in 1965) – one of the last living stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age – branded Bill Cosby’s prison sentence ‘a sin’ and criticized the dozens of women who accused him of rape in an interview one day before his sexual assault conviction was overturned last week
Cosby walked free from prison – three years into his 10 year sentence – on June 30 after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. He is pictured returning home after his release
‘I don’t think it was his fault,’ she added. In addition to saying he was ‘wonderful,’ she also referred to Cosby as ‘a very sexy man.’
Baker went as far as to blame the roughly 60 women who accused Cosby of sexual assault.
‘They did it voluntarily. Why would you go into a secluded place with a man? To play pinochle?’ Baker asked.
‘I’m sure they were all entranced with him. I have a feeling that that drink was just an aphrodisiac and he did not force them to take it, he just offered it to them. And I think it’s a sin he’s in jail.’
The following day, Cosby walked free from prison – three years into his 10 year sentence – after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.
After his release, he tweeted that he has always maintained his innocence and thanked his fans, supporters and friends who stood by him.
Carroll Baker, US actress, reclining against a yellow surface, wearing a white night shirt, surrounded by pieces of foliage, in a studio portrait, circa 1960
Baker, 90, is one of the last living members of Hollywood’s Golden Age, best known for starring in Baby Doll in 1956, which earned her a Best Actress nomination from the Academy Awards
Baker also expressed anger towards women who ‘come back from years before and they ruin a man’s career.’
She shared her own experience in the industry: ‘I was only asked once to lie down on the casting couch, and I just walked out the door.’
‘What the hell do you let a man do that to you for?’ she continued. ‘I wouldn’t let a man do that to me. If he made any pass at me, I would tell him how ugly and disgusting and filthy he was, and get away from me and I hate you, and I’d hit him if I could.
‘We’re not in the 18th century where we were wearing hoopskirts. Women, stick up for yourself and stop playing like you’re such a little girl!’
Baker did not share the same warm feelings for Cosby for disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, calling him ‘a maniac’ who deserved to be in jail.
Baker earned a Best Actress nomination from the Academy Awards for her role in Baby Doll.
Other film credits include The Big Country, How the West Was Won and Cheyenne Autumn.
She does not appear to share any acting credits with Cosby, though he was an executive consultant on Grand, a two-season 1990s sitcom she had a recurring role in for three episodes.
People took to social media to express their disappointment in the Hollywood legend’s comments.
‘Carroll Baker, much like her career, is a joke,’ one user said.
‘Carroll Baker’s comments about Bill Cosby are really gross,’ said another.
Jeremy Kinser joked, ‘This is more disastrous than her performance in Harlow.’
Baker is not the first Hollywood legend to go to bat for Cosby after his co-star from The Cosby Show celebrated the comedian’s release last week.
Phylicia Rashad tweeted: ‘FINALLY! A terrible wrong is being righted – a miscarriage of justice is corrected.’
The hashtag ‘ByePhilicia’ began trending after the star tweeted her message, drawing instant backlash.
Rashad, who has been dean of the College of Fine Arts at Howard University since May, issued a groveling apology after outraged students called for her to be fired.
‘I am sorry. I intend to earn your trust and your forgiveness,’ Rashad wrote.
‘My remarks were in no way directed towards survivors of sexual assault. I vehemently oppose sexual violence and find no excuse for such behavior.
‘Over the next few weeks, I plan 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.’
Rahsad sent this tweet after Cosby was released – and condemnation soon followed
Phylicia Rashad apologized for her earlier Bill Cosby tweet in letter to Howard University families promising to become ‘stronger ally’