Bill Cosby has urged officials at America's Howard University to support actress and faculty member Phylicia Rashad's right to freedom of speech amid a backlash for celebrating her former co-star's prison release.
The disgraced comedian walked free from prison on 30 June, after judges at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court cited legal technicalities as they tossed out his 2018 sexual assault conviction.
Rashad was one of the few people to praise the judges' decision, insisting "a terrible wrong is being righted", but after an initial uproar, she returned to Twitter and claimed she meant no offence to victims of sexual assault.
The actress, who was recently appointed Dean of Howard University's Fine Arts College, was chastised for her remarks by school executives, and on Friday, she issued a formal apology, vowing to take the steps to become a better ally for victims of sex crimes.
Rashad, who played Cosby's wife Clair Huxtable in The Cosby Show, also deleted the original controversial tweet.
However, Cosby is standing up for Rashad, initially showing his support for fans who suggested Howard bosses return the millions of dollars he had previously donated if they plan to fire his The Cosby Show co-star.
Now he has further shared his thoughts on the scandal, hitting out at university executives and the mainstream media for attacking Rashad simply for voicing her opinion.
"Howard University you must support ones Freedom of Speech (Ms. Rashad), which is taught or suppose to be taught everyday at that renowned law school, which resides on your campus," he declared in a statement released through his long-time spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, on Sunday, which was Independence Day in the U.S..
"This mainstream media are the Insurrectionists, who stormed the Capitol," he continued, referencing the January siege by Donald Trump supporters and right wing extremists in Washington, D.C.
"Those same Media Insurrectionists are trying to demolish the Constitution of these United State of America on this Independence Day.
"No technicality - it's a violation of ones rights & we the people stand in support of Ms. Phylicia Rashad (sic)."
Howard University chiefs have yet to respond to Cosby's criticism.