Phylicia Rashad Celebrates Bill Cosby’s Prison Release, Plus: More Celebrity Reactions
After news broke about Bill Cosby’s overturned sex assault conviction, his “The Cosby Show” co-star Phylicia Rashad took to Twitter to rejoice.
On Wednesday, Rashad tweeted, “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” She limited comments on the controversial tweet.
Hours later, Phylicia backtracked on her tweet, writing, "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."
That same day, Cosby was released from prison after serving two years out of a sentence of three to 10 years.
Other big names, including Amber Tamblyn and Eddie Griffin, also reacted to his release.
Eddie Griffin wrote on Twitter, “Bill Cosby is free!!! Thoughts?”
Trevor Noah tweeted, “Pennsylvania court saw ‘Free B_______Y’ and was like okay got it.”
Famed attorney Gloria Allred, who represented several of Cosby’s accusers, said in a statement, “This decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court today to overturn the conviction of Bill Cosby must be devastating for Bill Cosby’s accusers. My heart especially goes out to those who bravely testified in both of his criminal cases. I represented a majority of the prior bad act accusers who testified. Despite the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision, this was an important fight for justice and even though the court overturned the conviction on technical grounds, it did not vindicate Bill Cosby’s conduct and should not be interpreted as a statement or a finding that he did not engage in the acts of which he has been accused.”
The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court issued an opinion to vacate the conviction after deciding a 2005 agreement between Cosby and a previous prosecutor should have prevented him from being charged in the case.
The Court’s judgment stated that Cosby “must be discharged [from prison], and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred."
In 2018, Cosby was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
In the case, Andrea Constand, the former Director of Operations for Temple University's women's basketball team, accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her in his home in January 2004. In a 2005 court deposition, Cosby admitted he had acquired Quaaludes with the intent to give them to women with whom he wanted to have sex, but denied criminal activity and adamantly denied his encounter with Constand — who came out as a lesbian in 2015 — was not consensual.
Cosby was charged days before a 12-year statute of limitations in the Constand case.
Only one other accuser was heard in his first trial, which resulted in a deadlocked jury. Five were subsequently heard at Cosby’s retrial, and he was convicted.