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Actress Phylicia Rashad, who played the strong but loving wife on NBC’s venerable “The Cosby Show,” has come to Bill Cosby’s defense in remarks made to entertainment journalist Roger Friedman, marking the first time the actress has weighed in on the controversy.

“I love him,” the actress said to Friedman, who stressed that she did not seek him out to make a comment. He was able to talk to her while attending a lunch held by Paramount for the movie “Selma.” Rashad has remained quiet on the subject of Cosby, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault.

“Forget these women,” Rashad told Friedman. “What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture.”

In her talk with the journalist, Rashad also defended recent remarks made by Camille Cosby and dismissed recent claims against Cosby by Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson.

“Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV,” Rashad said. “And it’s worked. All his contracts have been cancelled.”