Actress Phylicia Rashad,66, Cosby’s TV wife for 12 years on the Cosby Show, is in damage control mode now. Rashad took to the air on ABC’s Nightline on Wednesday night to clarify some earlier statements she made in an interview. She said on the show she never said “Forget these women”, she said she actually did say it, but she didn’t mean it in the same context it was reported. Rashad says she was talking about Cosby’s legacy and that was the focus, not the allegations. She she did not feel as though she had the right to speak about any of the allegations against the comic. Rashad is most closely associated with her role on the Cosby Show, when she played an upper middle class attorney, Clair Huxtable from 1984 to 1992. Her character was married to Cosby’s character Cliff Huxtable an obstetrician. At the time of the show’s premier in 1982, it was highly lauded as being ground breaking television. It was the first prime time TV show that featured an affluent African American family, with two highly educated professional parents at the forefront.
Bill Cosby came back to television in 1996 with a new show called ‘Cosby’, he again called on Rashad to star in the weekly comedy show as his wife. That show ran for four years with Rashad playing the character of Ruth Lucas. Rashad was ‘married’ on TV longer to Cosby that she was in real life to two of her three husbands. Her first husband Dr. William Bowles, a dentist lasted for three years from 1972 to 1975 and produced one child William Jr. She then married a singer Victor Willis of ‘The Village People’, which lasted just 3 years. She then married former NFL wide receiver Ahmad Rashad in 1985. She started to use her husband’s name professionally. The couple divorced in 2001, they have one daughter Condola, 28.
The number of accusers that have come forward against Bill Cosby grows weekly, the current count is 37. The accusations consists of similar accounts of being drugged and rapped by Cosby. Some of the allegations state that the alleged incidents took place in the 1970’s and some occurred as recently as 2004. Cosby has not addressed the allegations directly, but through his legal team has steadfastly denied all of the allegations. Rashad appeared on ‘Nightline’ and was asked, “What do you say to all these women that painstakingly told these stories of
abuse they were being drugged, they were being rapped.” Rashad responded “What can I say to these women, whom I don’t know. What can I say to things that I am hearing. When I’m telling you what I’ve seen. I’m telling you what I’ve experienced. What can I say?” She was asked what she thought when she first heard the allegations against Cosby. She responded ” I had never heard that before, so that was the first time I was hearing any of that. So I can’t even speak to those things and don’t want to. Regarding her saying ‘Forget those Women’, she said “That was misquote, that is not what I said. I said this is not about the women it’s about that, this about something else. This about the obliteration of legacy.”