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Bill Cosby says ‘people stand in support’ of Phylicia Rashad

By Steve Forrest and Susannah Cullinane, CNN

Bill Cosby issued a statement in support of his former co-star and longtime friend Phylicia Rashad, who earlier apologized for celebrating Cosby’s release from prison.

Cosby, once known as “America’s Dad,” was released on Wednesday after Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned his sexual assault conviction.

At the time Rashad tweeted, “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” along with a photo of Cosby. She later deleted the post, tweeted that she supported survivors of sexual assault coming forward and sent a letter of apology to parents and students of Howard University, where she is Dean of Fine Arts.

The university had disavowed Rashad’s demonstration of support for Cosby, saying “her initial tweet lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault.”

“This mainstream media are the Insurrectionists, who stormed the Capitol,” Cosby said in his statement issued through a spokesperson Sunday. “Those same Media Insurrectionists are trying to demolish the Constitution of these United State [sic] of America on this Independence Day.”

Cosby ended the statement with a sentence written in all capital letters, “NO TECHNICALITY — IT’S A VIOLATION OF ONES RIGHTS & WE THE PEOPLE STAND IN SUPPORT OF MS. PHYLICIA RASHAD.”

In her letter Friday, Rashad offered “(her) most sincere apology” for tweeting in celebration of Bill Cosby‘s sexual assault conviction being overturned.

“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,” Rashad wrote, noting that she had since removed Wednesday’s “upsetting tweet.”

Over the next few weeks, Rashad said she plans “to engage in active listening and participate in trainings to not only reinforce University protocol and conduct, but also to learn how I can become a stronger ally to sexual assault survivors and everyone who has suffered at the hands of an abuser.”

In May, Rashad, an alumna of Howard University, was appointed dean of its recently reestablished College of Fine Arts.

Howard University wrote that survivors of sexual assault would always be its priority. “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,” it said in a statement posted on Howard University’s verified social media accounts.

Cosby and Rashad are longtime friends. Rashad has twice played his wife on television: from 1984 to 1992 on the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show” and on the CBS sitcom “Cosby,” from 1996 to 2000.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Keely Aouga and Laura Ly contributed to this report.

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