Today (June 30), news broke that disgraced actor and comedian Bill Cosby would be released from prison after serving almost three years because of an agreement with a previous prosecutor that prevented him from being charged in the case.
One of the first public figures who rejoined at this reveal was Cosby friend and before “The Cosby Show” co-star Phylicia Rashad, who played his wife, Claire Huxtable, on the series. “FINALLY!!!!” she tweeted. “A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” And almost immediately, people on social media began condemning the actress for rejoicing over the release of a convicted Cosby years after dozens of women came forward and accused him of drugging and rapping them.
Catching wind of the brutal backlash, Rashad is offering her support to 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 tweeted. However, her initial tweet still remains up.
See both of those tweets below.
Cosby has also broken his silence since his release. On his social media accounts, he posted the message: “I have never changed my stance nor my story,” he wrote in the tweet. “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. #BillCosby.”
This message was posted shortly after he and his attorneys held a press conference to discuss his conviction being overturned. Accusers such as Victoria Valentino and Sarita Butterfield, who’ve alleged that Cosby previously drugged and raped them, have also spoken out today. “I’m surprised and shocked with today’s news of Cosby’s release,” Butterfield said. “It seems the justice system served the criminal, in this case, as opposed to the victims. At this point, I just hope that he took time to reflect on the pain and anguish his actions caused so many women. And also, puts in the work towards becoming a better person.”