Phylicia Rashad Clarifies Her Celebratory Tweet About Bill Cosby’s Prison Release
On Wednesday, “The Cosby Show” actress Phylicia Rashad celebrated her co-star Bill Cosby’s release from prison.
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."
Despite the backpedaling, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s” Aunt Viv, Janet Hubert, slammed Phylicia on social media, tweeting, “Phylicia what are you thinking!!! I don’t know you but to say this was terribly wrong… Get your umbrella sista here comes the sh*t shower. I am outraged that he has been released.”
Cosby was released from prison after serving two years out of a sentence of three to 10 years.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its 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.”
Cosby was convicted in 2018 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 he 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.
After Cosby walked out of a Pennsylvania state prison, his legal team held a press conference outside his Philadelphia home. His lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said, “We are thrilled to have Mr. Cosby home. He served three years of an unjust sentence and he did it with dignity and principle.”
Bonjean noted that Cosby was “extremely happy to be home” and “looks forward to reuniting with his wife and children.”
Cosby’s rep Andrew Wyatt said, “What we saw today was justice, justice for all Americans. Mr. Cosby’s conviction being overturned is for the world and all Americans who are being treated unfairly by the judicial system and some bad officers.”
While Cosby didn’t speak at the press conference, he released his first statement on Twitter. He wrote, “I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence. Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law.”