One of the more remarkable aspects of the Bill Cosby scandal in 2014 was not just the once-iconic comic's refusal to comment on the flood of sexual assault allegations made against him, but also the deafening silence from his "Cosby Show" castmates. The actors who played Cosby's TV family, the Huxtables, for eight seasons have not weighed in publicly until now -- and that's mostly thanks to Donald Trump.
Appearing on Sunday night's premiere episode of Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice," Keshia Knight Pulliam's decision not to call her TV dad and hit him up for cash during her team's fund-raising challenge became a central story line. The actress best known for playing "Rudy Huxtable" on the hit NBC comedy explained that she didn't feel comfortable calling Cosby (the show was taped pre-scandal in March 2014) since she hadn't spoken to him in five years and only seen him occasionally at promotional events.
"I feel like people think 'The Cosby Show,' because it's in re-runs, because so many generations have experienced it, that we [the cast], like, have dinner every Friday or something -- but we don't," Knight Pulliam told Wendy Williams during a sit-down on Monday (January 5). "The reality is, the show, that was 30 years ago."
The actress said she had no regrets about choosing not to tap Cosby's deep pockets, though it eventually got her sent packing by episode's end. Still, the failed "Apprentice" project manager came to Cosby's defense when asked what she thought of the comedian in the wake of multiple accusations that he had sexually assaulted and in many cases drugged as many as 20 women over four decades.
"Honestly, that's not the man I know," Knight Pulliam said. "The man I know has done a tremendous amount for colleges, for endowments, has given money so so many people could go to school. ... And even the revolution he created with television.
"The Cosbys, we were the first family that no matter what race, religion, what have you, you saw yourself in [them]. We saw how much more alike we were than we were different. And at the end of the day, they are allegations -- I wasn't there. I don't know what happened. I don't have that story to tell of him.