Bill Cosby's daughter Ensa starred in an episode of her father's show
Bill Cosby‘s daughter Ensa has died, PEOPLE confirms. She was 44.
Ensa — who starred in a 1989 episode of her father’s successful TV show, The Cosby Show, playing a girl at a party — died Friday in Massachusetts, according to TMZ, which first reported the news.
When Bill, 80, was accused of sexual assault in late 2014, Ensa publicly supported her father, proclaiming he is innocent and that racism was a factor in the case.
“My father has been publicly lynched in the media and my family, my young daughter, my young niece and nephew have had to stand helplessly by and watch the double standard or pretending to protect the rights of some but ignoring the rights of others,” she said in a statement last year.
“I strongly believe my father is innocent of the crimes alleged against him and I believe that racism has played a big role in all aspects of this scandal,” Ensa added.
WATCH: Judge Declares Mistrial in Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Case After Jury Says They Are ‘Hopelessly Deadlocked’
More than 50 women have brought allegations against Cosby, who was charged in December 2015 in connection with the claims of one woman, Andrea Constand, though a jury deadlocked in June on the question of his guilt or innocence. Prosecutors have said they will re-try him.
Ensa’s death comes 20 years after the entertainer’s only son, Ennis, was murdered in 1997.
Ennis was shot to death at age 27 during an attempted robbery on a Los Angeles freeway ramp as he tried to change a flat tire. The killer, Michael Markhasev, was convicted and sentenced to life without parole.
Diagnosed with dyslexia in 1988, he became determined to help others with similar learning problems after his graduation from Atlanta’s Morehouse College in 1992. At the time of his death, Ennis had earned a master’s in education and was pursuing a doctorate at Columbia University.
In June 2013, Cosby took to his Facebook page on Father’s Day to pay tribute to his late son.
“Ennis William Cosby was our gift. And his gift is for you,” he captioned a photo of him and Ennis, dressed in suits and bow ties.
Ensa is survived by her father, mother Camille and three siblings: sisters Erika, Erinn and Evin.