Fact Check

Did Phylicia Rashad Celebrate Cosby's Prison Release in a Tweet?

The former actress on "The Cosby Show" tweeted: "FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted — a miscarriage of justice is corrected!"

Published June 30, 2021

Updated June 30, 2021
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26:  Comedian Bill Cosby (L) and actress Phylicia Rashad attend the 2nd annual Legacy to Promise Gala at The Riverside Theatre on September 26, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage) (Michael Stewart/WireImage)
Image courtesy of Michael Stewart/WireImage
Claim:
Actress Phylicia Rashad tweeted of Bill Cosby's release from prison: "FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted — a miscarriage of justice is corrected!"

On June 30, 2021, Bill Cosby's sex assault conviction was overturned by a court and he was expected to be released from prison. In the aftermath of the news, actress Phylicia Rashad, who portrayed Clair Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," tweeted: "FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!"

The Tweet

It's true that the tweet came from Rashad's verified Twitter account.

Phylicia Rashad tweeted after it was announced Bill Cosby would be released and she celebrated the news.
This was a real tweet from the verified account for actress Phylicia Rashad.

It had no replies underneath. Instead, it said: "Who can reply? People @PhyliciaRashad follows or mentioned can reply."

However, Twitter users still responded to Rashad's tweet about Cosby with quote tweets.

Twitter Responds

Former Fox News personality Gretchen Carlson issued an angry response to Rashad. Carlson previously settled with Fox News over sexual harassment claims not related to Cosby.

CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski also noted Rashad was trending on Twitter.

Another CNN personality, Jake Tapper, referred to Rashad's time on "The Cosby Show."

Additionally, @PrestonMitchum tweeted to Rashad of Cosby's past: "He’s still a rapist and an abuser. Period."

Several tweets mentioned that Rashad had recently returned to be a new dean of the Howard University College of Fine Arts, which was true.

We also noticed several other tweets from verified accounts.

After more than an hour, Rashad's tweet about Cosby's prison release had received nearly 20,000 quote tweets.

She later added a second tweet.

https://twitter.com/PhyliciaRashad/status/1410336268995776518
It 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."

Cosby's 2018 Conviction

In April 2018, The Associated Press reported that Cosby was convicted of "drugging and molesting a woman in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era, completing the spectacular late-life downfall of a comedian who broke racial barriers in Hollywood on his way to TV superstardom as America’s Dad."

It also published that "a jury concluded he sexually violated Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004," but "claimed the encounter was consensual."

Cosby himself had long ago confirmed sordid revelations about drugs and extramarital sex.

In a deposition he gave over a decade ago as part of Constand’s lawsuit, Cosby acknowledged he had obtained quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with, “the same as a person would say, ‘Have a drink.'” The sedative was a popular party drug before the U.S. banned it more than 30 years ago.

Cosby also acknowledged giving pills to Constand before their sexual encounter. But he identified them as the over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine Benadryl and insisted they were meant to help her relax.

Rashad recently guest-starred in episodes of the NBC drama "This Is Us," which is filming its final season in the coming months.

Updates

This story was updated after Rashad issued a second tweet.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

Article Tags