'Fresh Prince' 's Janet Hubert Slams Phylicia Rashad for Bill Cosby Support: 'What Are You Thinking?'

Phylicia Rashad celebrated Bill Cosby’s release on Wednesday after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his 2018 sexual assault conviction

Janet Hubert Phylicia Rashad Bill Cosby
Photo: getty (3)

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Janet Hubert addressed fellow actress Phylicia Rashad on Wednesday for supporting Bill Cosby after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction.

In a tweet, Hubert, 65, accused Rashad, 73, of turning a blind eye to the disgraced comedian's alleged abuse.

"Phylicia what are you thinking!!! I don't know you but to say this was terribly wrong," Hubert wrote on Twitter. "EVERYONE knew what he was doing back then. How could you NOT!"

"Get your umbrella sista here comes the s—t shower," she added, hinting at backlash that would be coming Rashad's way.

Hubert went on to say that she is "outraged that [Cosby] has been released" and called him "an old ass guilty man!"

In a follow-up tweet, the actress suggested Rashad could have said, "he's old he's out and I'm happy for him, but he still ...guilty" as opposed to her her tweet that said, "FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted — a miscarriage of justice is corrected!"

"I know 5 women who have not come forward," Hubert alleged. "Enough ya'll, we know better. Powerful men do wrong things, black or white…"

Rashad has since deleted the posts she penned in support of Cosby. She later stated in a follow-up message that she supports sexual assault survivors.

"I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward," the actress wrote in a statement on Twitter and Instagram. "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," Rashad continued. "My heartfelt wish is for healing."

Phylicia Rashad and Bill Cosby. Peter Kramer/NBC/Getty

Also on Wednesday, Howard University — where Rashad studied and recently was appointed dean of its college of fine arts — released a statement voicing support for sexual assault survivors.

They expressed that Rashad's remarks were personal and therefore separate from her role at the university.

"Survivors of sexual assault will always be our first priority," the statement began. "While Dean Rashad has acknowledged in her follow-up tweet that victims must be heard and believed, her initial tweet lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault."

The university added, "Personal positions of University leadership do not reflect Howard University's policies."

"We will continue to advocate for survivors fully and support their right to be heard. Howard will stand with survivors and challenge systems that would deny them justice. We have full confidence that our faculty and school leadership will live up to this sacred commitment," the statement concluded.

Students and alumni of the University have expressed their disappointment in Rashad's remarks.

"She now has a responsibility to a body of students and in particular women students," Sheryl Wesley, a Howard alumni (Class of 1996) told NBC News. "She should not feel comfortable to immediately release her personal relief of someone who she considers a friend, but who was convicted of crimes against women. Without concern she openly supported him without considering the institution she has graduated from, and now represents and women who have been victimized."

"This overturned verdict has triggered those who have been victimized or those who know someone who has been victimized by sexual assault or attempted assault or harassment," she added. "And for her to make those comments when women are assaulted on college campuses across the country almost every day was irresponsible."

Cosby was released from prison on Wednesday after serving nearly three years of a three to 10-year sentence after he was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault in 2018 after Andrea Constand said he had drugged her and sexually assaulted her in her Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, home in 2004. More than 60 women also accused the actor of sexual misconduct. He and his defense have denied the allegations.

His return home was the result of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision to overturn his 2018 sexual assault conviction based on the former actor's agreement with a prosecutor in 2005.

The comedian reached an agreement with then-Montgomery County district attorney Bruce Castor in 2005 stating that if Cosby sat for a deposition in a civil case Constand had brought, he'd be immune from criminal prosecution.

In that deposition, Cosby admitted that he gave quaaludes to women with whom he wanted to have sex, and also admitted to numerous extramarital affairs.

Castor's successor Kevin Steele, however, brought criminal charges against Cosby in 2015 and arrested him before the statute of limitations expired. Steele used Cosby's admission in the deposition against him in the criminal trial, a move that was described as "unconstitutional" and a "due process violation" thus resulting in the overturn of the conviction.

Cosby released a statement on Wednesday, saying, "I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence."

He added, "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."

Costand and her attorney's expressed their disappointment in the court's decision in a statement, but ultimately urged sexual assault survivors "to have their voices heard."

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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