Former “Cosby Show” actor Phylicia Rashad on Wednesday celebrated a court overturning Bill Cosby’s conviction for sexual assault, saying “a terrible wrong is being righted.”
Veteran comedian Cosby has been accused of rape or sexual assault by dozens of women. In 2018, he was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004.
However, on Wednesday, Pennsylvania’s state Supreme Court threw out Cosby’s sexual assault conviction, allowing his release from prison, due to a previous prosecutor’s agreement not to charge Cosby.
After the news broke, Rashad — who played Clair Huxtable, wife of Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable, on the popular, long-running sitcom — tweeted that a “miscarriage of justice is corrected!”
After significant pushback to her tweet, Rashad later attempted to walk it back, saying that she “fully support[s] survivors of sexual assault coming forward” and that her post was “in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth”:
Rashad was recently appointed the dean of Howard University’s College of Fine Arts. The university released its own statement saying “survivors of sexual assault will always be our priority.”
“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 university stated. “Howard will stand with survivors and challenge systems that would deny them justice.”
Over the years, about 60 women have come forward accusing Cosby of rape or sexual assault, but most of the alleged offenses were too far in the past for criminal prosecution.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.