Phylicia Rashad Goes on Defensive After Backlash Over Bill Cosby Remarks: I Never Said ‘Forget’ Accusers (Video)

“That was a misquote,” former TV wife insists on “ABC World News Tonight With David Muir”

Bill Cosby‘s former TV wife Phylicia Rashad, who sparked outrage with her defense of Cosby on Tuesday night, appeared on “ABC World News Tonight With David Muir” on Wednesday, saying that she was misquoted.

Asked about a quote attributed to her, during which Rashad reportedly said, “Forget those women,” Rashad told Linsey Davis, “That was a misquote, and that is not what I said. What I said is that this is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of a legacy.”

Rashad was unable to offer theories about who would want to obliterate Cosby’s legacy.

Rashad also took the media to task, saying, “What has happened is declaration in the media of guilt without proof.”

As for the allegations against Cosby — that he had drugged and raped multiple women — Rashad said, “I can’t even speak to those things, and don’t even want to.”

Rashad, who played Clair Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” from 1984 to 1992 and Ruth Lucas on “Cosby” from 1996 to 2000, angered many with an interview published on Showbiz 411 on Tuesday, in which she defended Cosby and dismissed his accusers, reportedly saying it’s best to “forget” them.

“Forget these women,” Rashad was quoted as telling reporter Roger Friedman. “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.”

Among Rashad’s critics: director/producer Judd Apatow, who tweeted that the actress’ defense was financially motivated.

“She is worried about her SAG residuals disappearing if they are heard in court. Shameful,” Apatow wrote in a tweet to TheWrap‘s CEO and Editor in Chief.

“SNL” alum Norm Macdonald also weighed in on the Cosby scandal, tweeting to Apatow and actor Tom Arnold, after Apatow asked his thoughts on the topic.

“My opinion is he is guilty.But I worry about the next guy. I believe social media could destroy an innocent,” Macdonald tweeted.

More than a dozen women have stepped forward to accuse Cosby of sexual assault. In the wake of the allegations, Cosby has suffered a number of career setbacks, including NBC halting development of a comedy in which he would have starred and Netflix postponing a comedy special featuring the comedian.

Watch Rashad’s interview with ABC.


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