“It’s a slim possibility,” O’Donnell said, responding to fellow host Nicolle Wallace who cautioned Rashad’s defense could be true. “I think people like mothers in incestuous families, where they’re aware the father or boyfriend is sexually abusing the children, chooses denial because it’s the safest place for their brain to land. Because they can’t hold two thoughts in their head at once ‘The man that I’m married to is also sexually abusing my children,'” O’Donnell continued.
Her comments came after Rashad finally broke her silence on the scandal on Tuesday night.
“Forget these women,” Rashad said. “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.”
Cosby’s currently facing a slew of rape, sexual assault and drugging accusations from more than 20 women.
Also weighing in on Rashad’s comments were fellow guest co-hosts Mario Cantone, comedian Rachel Feinstein and singer
“This woman has worked with him [Cosby] for years so you would think that if anyone should know him, she would,” Williams said. “I don’t know anything, I wasn’t there, but it’s amazing when someone can speak out when your friends are silent.”
Cantone called the situation “sad.”
Since allegations against the comedian resurfaced in October, Netflix has canceled a Cosby special, NBC dropped a comedy series that was in the works and the actor’s comedy shows in Canada have been threatened with protests, as TheWrap previously reported.
“Unfortunately, he’ll never be able to prove his innocence, and they’ll never be able to prove his guilt,” Cantone said, referring to the statute of limitations in the case. “I think it’s very hard for Phylicia Rashad, who knows that side of him, a woman who has worked with him all the years to see she didn’t see that other side of him, if there is that other side.”
Following Williams and Cantone’s comments, O’Donnell said she understood how it could be difficult to comprehend the accusations. She spoke about “7th Heaven” star Stephen Collins, who admitted molesting young girls in the 1970s and 1980s.
“You know Stephen Collins is a friend of mine. We both work on the show ‘The Fosters.’ When I saw his interview with Katie Couric talking about him using the hand of a 10-year-old to pleasure himself, it made me physically ill,” O’Donnell said.
Shifting the conversation back to Cosby, the controversy prompted Feinstein to dismiss critics who believe Cosby’s accusers are seeking attention.
“People refer to the women as they’re just looking for their moment in the limelight, which I find is such a horribly offensive way to talk about it,” guest co-host Feinstein said. “Like, ‘I know just the right thing to get me in the pictures. I’ll tell a story of getting raped … it’s my rape golden ticket.'”
O’Donnell and Feinstein echoed each other’s comments.
“I don’t think 27 women in their 60s and 70s would lie to slander or ruin his career,” O’Donnell said. “Cognitive dissonance, two thoughts in your brain at once. It should be the goal for everyone for 2015.”