Bill Cosby’s longtime TV wife, Phylicia Rashad, dodged topics pertaining to her former co-star’s sexual assault charges during a recent interview with The New York Times.
The co-star and friend whom Rashad called a”kind genius” during an exclusive interview with ABC News in 2015, now has an estimated 50 women who have accused him of rape and sexual assault.
Rashad, who played Cosby’s wife on TV for more than a decade, confessed last year to ABC News that she never saw any behavior that could lead her to believe the allegations against Cosby.
“What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture,” she said. “This show represented America to the outside world. This was the American family. And now you’re seeing it being destroyed. Why?” Rashad asked during the 2015 interview.
Today, the iconic TV mom expressed to reporters at The Times something a little different during the interview that was initially supposed to discuss her appearance in the new Broadway stage play “Head of Passes.” As Rashad was asked to comment on specific allegations she said, “This is in litigation now, right? Then I’m not commenting on anything. Let that play itself out.”
Other cast members, such as Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who played Cosby’s son on The Cosby Show, told the Associated Press in October 2015 that he was concerned about the show’s legacy amid Cosby’s sexual assault allegations.
“I was not there. The Bill Cosby I know has been great to me and great for a lot of people. What he’s done for comedy and television has been legendary and history-making. What he’s done for the black community and education has been invaluable. That’s the Bill Cosby I know. I can’t speak on the other stuff,” Jamal-Warner said.
Since Cosby was recently granted partial motion in a defamation case due in part to the reaffirming nature of former co-stars like Rashad, many will have to wait and, as the star said, let the case “play itself out.”
“It’s difficult for me to watch this legacy be erased, as if [it] never happened… I think in the hearts and minds of people he is still held in high regard,” Rashad said.