Phylicia Rashad Says Her Bill Cosby Defense Was Misquoted

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Photo: Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images

In an interview with ABC's World News Tonight, The Cosby Show's Phylicia Rashad claims that her widely quoted remarks on Bill Cosby's accusers — "Forget these women" — was a misquote. "I am a woman," she said. "I would never say that." Rashad clarified that what she really meant was that the string of sexual-assault accusations against the comedian was "not about the women" making them, but instead, "something else": an organized effort to destroy Cosby's legacy, abetted by a media that had declared Cosby guilty "without proof." Rashad added that she "could never speak" to the veracity of the accusations, but had only the warmest of words for her former co-star: "He's a genius, he's generous, he's kind, [and] he's inclusive."

On Wednesday night, reporter Roger Friedman, the source of the original quote, attempted to clear the matter up on his web site:

I did not misquote Phylicia Rashad. But she didn’t mean for it to be taken the way it was, and I should have punctuated. There was NEVER the meaning in ‘Forget those women’ that she was saying to actually forget or dismiss then. She meant, ‘those women aside’– as in, she’s not talking about that, she’s talking about Cosby’s legacy being destroyed. It was conversational. Somehow this got twisted. I am really sorry if the way I presented it made it seem like either one of us was forgetting anyone.