Bill Cosby’s Release from Prison Provokes Condemnation But Also Support from Co-Star Phylicia Rashad

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction and release the star from prison has provoked widespread condemnation but also full-throated support from his longtime co-star Phylicia Rashad, who celebrated the news.

Bill Cosby reportedly left prison Wednesday afternoon after Pennsylvania’s highest court vacated the star’s sex assault conviction. The court found that Cosby’s deal with a previous prosecutor, which prevented the actor from being charged in the case in exchange for testimony to be used in a civil case, was not honored by a subsequent prosecutor.

The 83-year-old actor-comedian had served two years of a three- to ten-year sentence at a prison near Philadelphia. In addition to the sexual assault accusations brought by Andrea Constand, he has faced close to five dozen other accusations from women who have claimed the Hollywood star drugged and assaulted them.

The Cosby Show actress Phylicia Rashad surprised many on Wednesday when she tweeted her support for her former co-star, praising the court’s decision.

Rashad later said “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.”

Actress Debra Messing disputed former Clinton adviser Peter Daou’s assertion calling out people who are furious at Bill Cosby walking free but who have given President Joe Biden “a pass for multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.”

Rosanna Arquette tweeted that Cosby “is STILL an evil rapist.”

Songwriter Diane Warren wondered if Cosby drugged the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Actress Mia Farrow expressed her sympathy for the alleged victims of Bill Cosby.

Writer E. Jean Carroll tweeted her condemnation of the court’s decision, saying “THIS is why women do not come forward.” Carroll has accused Donald Trump of raping her at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York nearly 25 years ago when she was 52.

Actress Patricia Arquette responded to E. Jean Carroll’s tweet by saying “Corruption. Money and power.”

Feminist author Jessica Valenti posted a series of tweets expressing her rage at the court’s decision.

Rosie O’Donnell tweeted “fuck u” to Bill Cosby.

Actress Amber Tamblyn claimed the court’s decision is “proof” that women “haven’t gone far enough” in terms of the #MeToo movement.

Chicago Hope star Christine Lahti tweeted, “The Patriarchy rears its ugly head yet again.”

Actor Joshua Malina took issue with Phylicia Rashad’s defense of Bill Cosby.

Mrs. Doubtfire screenwriter Randi Mayem Singer also expressed her disbelief in the court’s decision.

Disney star Josh Gad raged at the PA Supreme Court.

Comedian Chelsea Handler

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