In an interview with ABC’s World News Tonight, Phylicia Rashad said her comments in Roger Friedman’s Showbiz 411 column – in which she was quoted as saying, “forget these women,” when asked about the sexual allegations against Bill Cosby – are not accurate.
During the interview with ABC News, Rashad clarified the quote, saying she never said “Forget these women.”
“That was a misquote.” “That is not what I said. What I said is, ‘This is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of a legacy,'” she said. “I am a woman. I am a woman. I would never say such a thing.”
Earlier this week, lawyer Gloria Allred introduced three new Bill Cosby accusers, and made mention of Rashad in her statement:
“Phylicia, I vow to you that I will not forget these women, because women matter. They deserve respect and dignity. Phylicia, you should be supporting these women rather than joining Cosby’s paid “attack dogs” who are trying to undermine them in any way they can.”
In a clarification posted on Showbiz 411 Wednesday night, Freedman wrote:
Folks, I have been out of pocket all day on a personal matter. Let me clear something. 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. I’ve been at a hospice on and off for 10 says with a family friend of 40 years. So really, let’s all calm down. What Phylicia was doing was defending her friend and his legacy. That’s what she said, that’s what I wrote, I’m sorry if it caused her grief. And no one asked me to write this. I’m just saying it because I like and respect her.
“He’s a genius. He is generous. He is kind. He’s inclusive,” Rashad told ABC News. “What has happened is declaration in the media of guilt without proof.”