Phylicia Rashad: I Was Misquoted But Still Stand With Bill Cosby
Former Cosby Show mother Phylicia Rashad went on the defensive last night, going on ABC's World News Tonight to say that her comment in defense of embattled comedian Bill Cosby—to "forget these women" accusing him of rape—was misquoted.
Rashad claims that her comments to Showbiz 411's Roger Friedman were inaccurately reported, telling the news program, "I am a woman. I would never say such a thing. I would never think such a thing."
But Rashad also doesn't exactly recast her opinion about the host of women who have come forward with sexual abuse allegations.
"My message is, what happens to a nation in which people knowingly and willfully disavow the tenets that describe the nation?" she told ABC. "This is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of a legacy."
Friedman has since posted a clarification to his original story on Showbiz 411:
Folks, I have been out of pocket all day on a personal matter. Let me clear something. I did not misquote Phylicia Rashad. But she didn't mean for it to be taken the way it was, and I should have punctuated. There was NEVER the meaning in 'Forget those women' that she was saying to actually forget or dismiss then. She meant, 'those women aside'– as in, she's not talking about that, she's talking about Cosby's legacy being destroyed. It was conversational. Somehow this got twisted. I am really sorry if the way I presented it made it seem like either one of us was forgetting anyone. I've been at a hospice on and off for 10 says with a family friend of 40 years. So really, let's all calm down. What Phylicia was doing was defending her friend and his legacy. That's what she said, that's what I wrote, I'm sorry if it caused her grief. And no one asked me to write this. I'm just saying it because I like and respect her.
"Speaking to the character of the man that I know, this has not been easy," Rashad went on. "This has not been easy at all but he's not a coward. I don't know what he will do in that way but I know that he won't be hiding. ...He likes being around people too much and he respects people."
[Image via ABC News]