Former “Cosby Show” star Phylicia Rashad sent a letter to Howard University students Friday apologizing for celebrating Bill Cosby’s overturned sexual assault conviction, but the disgraced comedian’s former co-star didn’t actually concede her support for him.
Rashad, who was recently appointed dean of the historically Black university’s fine arts school, said she was sorry and acknowledged that her tweet about Cosby “caused so much hurt in so many people.”
“My remarks were in no way directed towards survivors of sexual assault,” she continued, adding that she will be participating in training “to learn how I can become a stronger ally to sexual assault survivors and everyone who has suffered at the hands of an abuser.”
Sixty women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct in recent years, and in 2018 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexual assault in one of the few accusations that hadn’t expired under the statute of limitations. But in a shocking turn of events on Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined that Cosby had been wrongly imprisoned because a previous district attorney had promised him he would never be charged. He walked free that day.
The decision was met with widespread outrage and questions about prosecutorial misconduct in the case, but Rashad ― who played Clair Huxtable, wife of Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable, on the popular, long-running sitcom ― said she was thrilled.
“FINALLY!!!!” she tweeted about his release. “A terrible wrong is being righted - a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”
Howard University released a statement scolding Rashad but didn’t offer much else.
“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,” the school wrote. “Personal positions of University leadership do not reflect Howard University’s policies.”