Bill Cosby, the well-known Hollywood actor and comedian, has expressed his support for his on-screen wife Phylicia Rashad, who has faced criticism for celebrating after her husband’s sexual assault conviction was overturned.
As reported by the Associated Press, the actor encouraged Howard University—where Rashad was just chosen Dean of the College of Fine Arts—to support her “freedom of speech” despite calls for her to be removed from her position, according to Cosby’s publicist Andrew Wyatt.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cosby stated, “Howard University must defend one’s Freedom of Speech (Ms. Rashad), which is taught or supposed to be taught every day at that renowned law school, which lives on your campus.”
Cosby was released from prison and returned to his home on Wednesday, less than two hours after Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned his sexual assault conviction, ruling that he should never have been prosecuted after agreeing to a non-prosecution agreement with a previous district attorney more than 15 years earlier.
As a result of Cosby’s 2018 conviction, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released its divided judgment after he had served more than two years of a three-to-ten-year sentence, triggering fury from sexual abuse victims and their advocates.
He was freed from a state jail in Pennsylvania just before 2:30 p.m. (1830 GMT), according to a prisons department official. The actor and comedian was 83 years old.