*Bill Cosby has issued a statement in response to his “The Cosby Show” co-star Phylicia Rashad celebrating the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to overturn his sexual assault conviction. She then retracted her controversial tweet following backlash.
An earlier report noted that on Wednesday Cosby unexpectedly got released from jail. He was just two years into a three-to-10-year prison term for indecent assault against Andrea Constand in 2004. The high court tossed the comedian’s conviction yesterday for assaulting Andrea Constand because of a non-prosecution agreement Cosby had with a prior prosecutor.
Rashad celebrated the court’s decision to overturn Cosby’s conviction. She tweeted, “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” She faced tons of backlash for her tweet.
Howard University even condemned Rashad’s post in a statement, saying that it “lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault”: “Personal positions of university leadership do not reflect Howard University’s policies,” the statement read. “We will continue to advocate for survivors fully and support their right to be heard.”
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.
— Phylicia Rashad (@PhyliciaRashad) June 30, 2021
Cosby criticized Howard for its lack of support for Rashad’s First Amendment right. “Howard University you must support ones Freedom of Speech (Ms. Rashad), which is taught or suppose to be taught everyday at that renowned law school, which resides on your campus,” he said.
His statement continued…“This (sic) mainstream media are the Insurrectionists, who stormed the Capitol. Those same Media Insurrectionists are trying to demolish the Constitution of these United State of America on this Independence Day,” the statement reads. “No technicality — it’s a violation of ones rights & we the people stand in support of Ms. Phylicia Rashad.”
Rashad later acknowledged that in her initial tweet she meant no disrespect to victims of assault. “My remarks were in no way directed towards survivors of sexual assault. I vehemently oppose sexual violence, find no excuse for such behavior, and I know that Howard University has a zero-tolerance policy toward interpersonal violence,” she wrote.
As part of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Cosby cannot be retried by prosecutors.
“Today’s majority decision regarding Bill Cosby is not only disappointing but of concern in that it may discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system from reporting or participating in the prosecution of the assailant or may force a victim to choose between filing either a criminal or civil action,” Constand said in a statement following the overturned conviction.