The photos of Keshia Knight Pulliam laughing with Bill Cosby on the way into his sexual assault trial certainly got a reaction — and mostly the shocked face emoji kind. But the actress, who has Cosby to thank for her career, is unwavering in her support.
On Monday, the day the defense rested in her former boss’s trial, 38-year-old Pulliam, who played the comedian’s youngest daughter on The Cosby Show, posted three behind-the-scenes photos from that day in court in which she has her arms around him. It’s her first mention of him on social since she attended the proceedings with him in Pennsylvania.
The post also promoted her podcast, Kandidly Keshia, in which she discussed her decision to publicly support 79-year-old Cosby, who is accused of drugging and molesting a former Temple University employee at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004. (He’s been accused of similar things by some 60 other women.) “Yes, I have supported Mr. Cosby — because I’ve said from day one that you’re innocent until proven guilty and what he’s been accused of just aren’t the interactions I’ve had with him,” she said in Friday’s podcast. “So it’s up to the jury to make that decision.”
She also read a statement in support of Cosby, which said, “It’s easy to support someone when things are good. The true measure of family, friendship, and loyalty is how you show up during times of adversity. As a woman, mother, Spelman College graduate, and champion of empowering girls through my non-profit, Kamp Kizzy Foundation, I in no way condone or support sexual assault. At the same time, I believe and I know that you are innocent until proven guilty… The man that the world is painting Mr. Cosby to be is simply not the person I know or have ever experienced. I am showing up in the manner I would hope my loved ones would show up for me if the shoe was on the other foot. Mr. Cosby is still a person, a father, a son, a husband. This is a horrible situation for all parties. Now it’s up to the jury to decide.” (The jury is deliberating.)
Pulliam’s view of the situation is what Team Cosby argued in court and that’s that Bill cheated on his wife, Camille, with Andrea Constand, the woman accusing him of sexual assault. “But that part, that’s between them,” Pulliam said of Bill and Camille. “And as a woman who’s been cheated on by her husband [Ed Hartwell], I know the pain, I know the hurt behind that. And in no way is that OK by any means, but again that is something they have to work through and if she chooses to forgive him that’s her right.”
As for Pulliam’s time with Cosby in court, she noted that he’s “hanging in there… His spirit isn’t broken.” And she touched on their entrance to court, saying “Mr. Cosby is blind now. Part of walking with him is guiding the way.” However, she didn’t reveal what they appeared to be cracking up over.
In the 30-minute podcast, Pulliam also revealed that she reconnected with Cosby in 2015 after not speaking for a few years. It came about after she appeared on Celebrity Apprentice and was fired by Donald Trump for not reaching out to Cosby for his financial support during a project. This was the time period in which the accusations against Cosby were unfolding. So she’s been supportive of him all along — and he’s repaid the favor. When her troubles with Hartwell made headlines, she said Cosby was among the first to reach out to her.
As for her latest troubles with Hartwell (the custody brouhaha that stemmed from her attending the trial), she didn’t say too much. She made it seem that she was only in Pennsylvania for a few hours, and Ella was at home with her mother. It’s unclear why Hartwell is claiming he missed a scheduled visit with the child, and she didn’t offer any reason.
“I was only able to come [to court] for a short period of time because of course I’m still breastfeeding,” she said. “So I went for a couple-hour window and then had to return to my baby and my mom, so I could take care of my baby which is first and foremost.”
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