Actress and Howard University’s incoming College of Fine Arts dean Phylicia Rashad celebrated a court’s decision to overturn disgraced comedian Bill Cosby’s conviction for sexual assault on Wednesday.

“FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” she tweeted shortly after news broke of the ruling on Wednesday afternoon, drawing immediate criticism.


Rashad starred as Clair Huxtable alongside Cosby on his hit television sitcom, “The Cosby Show,” for almost a decade in the 1980s. She has previously defended Cosby, who nearly 60 women have accused of sexual assault, against abuse claims, calling some of them “orchestrated” in 2015.

Rashad’s tweet has raised concerns online from many about her incoming post at Howard University.

The Hill has reached out to the school for comment.


Rashad made a follow-up tweet on Wednesday after drawing pushback earlier.

“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,” she wrote.

Her initial tweet came shortly after the Pennsylvania's state Supreme Court ordered Cosby's release on Wednesday after it said it found the actor should not have been charged and sentenced for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand.

Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years behind bars for drugging and sexually assaulting Constand in 2004.

In its decision to overturn the conviction, the court cited his past agreement with a former prosecutor that promised Cosby's testimony on the charges wouldn't be used against the actor. 

Overturning Cosby's conviction and blocking further prosecution, the court said on Wednesday, is "the only remedy that comports with society’s reasonable expectations of its elected prosecutors and our criminal justice system."

"Anything less under these circumstances would permit the Commonwealth to extract incriminating evidence from a defendant who relies upon the elected prosecutor’s words, actions, and intent, and then use that evidence against that defendant with impunity," the court added.

Updated: 5:41 p.m.