Phylicia Rashad comes under fire for celebrating Bill Cosby's prison release

·2-min read

Actress Phylicia Rashad has come under fire on social media for celebrating the overturning of her TV husband Bill Cosby's sexual assault conviction.

The disgraced comedian was sentenced to three-to-10 years in prison in 2018 for drugging and sexually assaulting Temple University staff member Andrea Constand at his Pennsylvania home in 2004.

Cosby maintained his innocence and filed appeal after appeal, with his case finally being heard in Pennsylvania Supreme Court, where judges agreed that his trial had been unfair and threw out his conviction on Wednesday, paving the way for him to walk free.

While many stars reacted in shock and disgust, Rashad, who played his onscreen wife on The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992, took to Twitter to applaud the ruling.

Alongside a photo of a smiling Cosby, she wrote, "FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!"

After receiving backlash for her post, Rashad returned to Twitter three hours later to insist that she supports sexual assault survivors.

"I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth. Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing," she wrote.

Rashad previously cast doubt on the motives of the more than 50 women, including supermodels Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson, who came forward with decades-old allegations of inappropriate behaviour and sexual abuse against the actor.

Suggesting they simply wanted to destroy the once-beloved comedian's legacy, she told back in 2015, "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.

"Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV... And it's worked. All his contracts have been cancelled."

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