Phylicia Rashad writes apology to Howard University students after tweet praising Bill Cosby's release

PHYLICIA Rashad wrote an apology to Howard University students over her tweet praising her former co-star Bill Cosby's release.

Rashad, who starred alongside the disgraced comedian in The Cosby Show, tweeted about a wrong "being righted" after Cosby was released from prison.

Now, amid calls for her removal as the incoming dean of Howard's fine arts program, Rashad issued an apology to students.

"My remarks were in no way directed toward survivors of sexual assault," she wrote.

"I vehemently oppose sexual violence, find no excuse for such behavior, and I know that Howard University has a zero-tolerance policy toward interpersonal violence."

Rashad went on to say that she had deleted her tweet and would spend the next few weeks engaging in "active listening" and training sessions to learn how she can be a "stronger ally to sexual assault survivors."

Rashad's original tweet went out after Cosby was released from prison after serving less than three years for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.

"FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted – a miscarriage of justice is corrected!," the actress wrote on June 30.

The tweet was met with a huge amount of backlash, and Howard University released a statement distancing itself from Rashad's celebratory tweet shortly thereafter.

"Personal positions of university leadership do not reflect Howard University’s policies," read the university's statement.

"We will continue to advocate for survivors fully and support their right to be heard."

Rashad also backtracked on her stance after deleting her original tweet and writing a new one later in the day on June 30.

"I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth," she wrote.

"Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing."

Rashad's latest apology came after Cosby took to Twitter to again deny that he ever drugged or had non-consensual sex with anyone, and to blame to the media for misleading the public about him.

"In response to the rhetoric that the media keeps pushing, Bill Cosby never admitted in his deposition testimony, or anywhere else, to non-consensual sexual contact with any woman and/or the drugging of anyone," the tweets read.

"He has never admitted to spiking drinks, as the media would like you to believe. He has steadfastly maintained his innocence, before and after being falsely convicted of aggravated indecent assault.

"Mainstream media has irresponsibly, egregiously and inexcusably misled the public with out-of-context coverage regarding Bill Cosby's deposition testimony."

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