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Phylicia Rashad says she was misquoted; Cosby maintains silence

pkg sidner cosby rashad tv wife misquote abc_00001221
pkg sidner cosby rashad tv wife misquote abc_00001221

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Story highlights

  • Writer says he did not misquote Phylicia Rashad but that her comment is misunderstood
  • She says she wasn't being dismissive of the women who've accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault
  • Cosby doesn't address the allegations during standup act

(CNN)Phylicia Rashad says she was misquoted.

She says she wasn't being dismissive of the women who've accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault when she came to the comedian's defense in an online interview.
    "I am a woman. I would never do that," she said on ABC's "World News Tonight With David Muir" on Wednesday.
    'Forget these women'
    Rashad played Clair Huxtable, Bill Cosby's TV wife, on the groundbreaking NBC sitcom "The Cosby Show."
    Cosby's now been accused of harassing, drugging and sexually assaulting multiple women. And in an interview with Showbiz 411, Rashad said she never saw any indication of the behavior that the women have attributed to Cosby.
    "Forget these women," Rashad is quoted as telling the outlet. "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."
    Fast forward to Wednesday night.
    Rashad says the Showbiz 411 piece didn't accurately reflect what she said -- especially the "forget these women" part.
    "That was a misquote. That is not what I said," Rashad said. "What I said is, 'this is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of legacy.' "
    In a Wednesday post, Roger Friedman, the columnist who wrote the Showbiz 411 article, denied that he misquoted Rashad, but wrote that he understands how her words were taken out of context.
    "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."
    He continued, "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."
    Allred calls Rashad out
    In coming to the defense of her TV husband, Rashad has now waded into a controversy that continues to dog Cosby.
    More than 20 women have come forward with claims, and a defamation lawsuit has been filed against Cosby.
    On Wednesday, attorney Gloria Allred brought out three more women -- Linda Kirkpatrick, Lynn Neal and a woman who chose to be identified only as Kacey -- who say they were sexually assaulted by the comedian after being drugged by him.
    While introducing the women, Allred addressed Rashad's statements to Showbiz 411.
    "Phylicia, you should be supporting these women rather than joining Cosby's paid 'attack dogs' who are trying to undermine them in any way that they can," Allred said.
    Cosby stays mum
    And Cosby? He's maintaining his silence -- as he's done while his reputation suffers.
    He was in Kitchener, Ontario, on Wednesday night for a standup appearance.
    A few dozen protestors rallied outside, but the show went on without a hitch.
    Larger protests are planned for Thursday night's shows.
    After his set, Cosby released a statement thanking attendees.
    "I would like to personally thank you for giving me the opportunity to bring laughter back into your lives tonight," he said. Also, I would like to applaud all of you and give you a standing ovation for respecting yourselves, the theatre (Centre In The Square) and the event organizers that produced a spectacular show for the Kitchener Community."