Today's news of Bill Cosby's release from prison has generated tons of controversy, but one person who's thrilled about the news is Phylicia Rashad. From 1984-1992, Rashad co-starred as Cosby's wife on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show. She later spent several more years working with Cosby as his co-star on the separate sitcom Cosby that aired from 1996-2000 and did voiceover work for Cosby's animated series Little Bill from 1999-2004.
Though Cosby's image has drastically changed as a result of the allegations of sexual assault and his subsequent incarceration, Phylicia Rashad never turned her back on her old television co-star. She had publicly defended him at various points over the past several years, continuing to believe in his innocence. Shortly after it was announced that Cosby is going free, Rashad hopped on Instagram to post an image of Bill along with this message:
"FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted - a miscarriage of justice is corrected!"
"I love him," Rashad also said of Bill Cosby in 2015, via Roger Friedman's Showbiz 411. "What you're seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it's orchestrated. I don't know why or who's doing it, but it's the legacy. And it's a legacy that is so important to the culture. This show represented America to the outside world. This was the American family. And now you're seeing it being destroyed. Why?"
In a Bustle interview last year, Rashad added: "I just don't accept what somebody says because they say it, and they say it in a loud voice. The internet has given a lot of anonymous people a very loud voice... And so I know what I know, and I just stay with what I know. And it will happen in time, that this will come around another way, as it often does. And then people say, 'Oh.'"
Meanwhile, the rest of Hollywood isn't quite so happy to see the Ghost Dad star making his exit from prison. One tweet from Debra Messing stated, "To every woman who was sexual assaulted by #BillCosby my heart hurts for you today and I am full fury. It's horrifying."
"Heartbreaking for all survivors. #MeToo lasts forever," Ellen Barkin also tweeted.
Rashad's role on The Cosby Show earned her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. In recent years, Rashad has been featured on shows like Empire, This Is Us, and 13 Reasons Why. She also stars on the OWN series David Makes Man, which just recently premiered its second season. The actress has also had roles in movies like Creed, Creed II, and Black Box. Rashad will also appear in the upcoming horror movie Nanny.
Bill Cosby served more than two years of his sentence, which was supposed to last from 3-10 years. In May, he was denied parole after refusing to admit to his part in the alleged sexual assault of Andrea Constand and other women by taking part in a sex offender treatment program. The comedian had previously sworn by his innocence and said he'd be willing to serve all ten years before admitting that he had done what he was accused of. The celebration of his release was posted by Phylicia Rashad on Instagram.