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Bill Cosby's on-screen daughter: 'That's not the man I know'

SUPPORT: Keshia Knight Pulliam and Bill Cosby

BILL COSBY'S on-screen daughter has spoken out about the sexual abuse allegations against the much-loved Cosby Show patriarch.

Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played Cosby's youngest daughter, Rudy, on the popular TV show, said the image of the 77-year-old actor following a number of sexual assault claims levied against him is far removed from the man she grew to know and love.

She told USA Today: "All I can speak to is the man I know and I love the fact that he has been such an example [and] you can't take away from the great that he has done, the millions and millions of dollars he has given back to colleges and education, and just what he did with The Cosby Show and how groundbreaking that was."

Speaking to US talkshow host Wendy Williams, she cited his "revolutionary" television work and went on to add: "The Cosbys, we were the first family that no matter what race, religion, you saw yourself in. At the end of the day they are allegations. I don't have that story to tell."

Her comments came after she was fired from Celebrity Apprentice by business mogul, Donald Trump, after she refused to call Cosby asking him for money as part of the reality show's challenge.

Knight Pulliam is the latest person to jump to the defence of the shamed star following a number of rape and assault allegations from more than a dozen women, many of them young, aspiring actresses during the 1970s.

Last month, Cosby's wife of 50 years, Camille, said in a statement: "He is the man you thought you knew" and said she continued to love the man she "fell in love with".

"None of us will ever want to be in the position of attacking a victim," she said. "But the question should be asked - who is the victim?"

It was the first time Mrs Cosby has spoken out publicly against the claims, and in the statement she insisted that the stories written about her husband had not been vetted properly by the media.

Though sexual assault allegations have dogged Cosby throughout his career, and he has never been convicted, women began slowly emerging from the shadows after comedian Hannibal Buress brought the claims to the fore during a set in October.


LOVING PATRIARCH: Keshia and Bill in character on The Cosby Show

“Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches," Buress said.

A video of Burress' set soon went viral and Cosby's alleged victims stories – chilling in similarity – claimed the veteran comedian had drugged and raped them at the height of his fame 30 years ago after promises of helping them further their careers on screen.

Former actress Barbara Boweman, the first to come forward, wrote in an October 27 article for the Daily Mail: “I was drugged and raped by that man.

“He is a monster. He came at me like a monster. My hope is that others who have experienced sexual abuse will not be intimidated into silence by the famous, rich and powerful. If I can help one victim, then I've done my job.”

She added: “I thank Hannibal Burress for speaking out over and over again, despite the threats from the industry that it could ruin his career. He is standing up for me and the other women who are too afraid to speak out.”

Her candid account sparked an onslaught of other women coming forward with similar claims.

Former supermodel Janice Dickinson also claimed the veteran actor and comedian sexually assaulted her in 1982 and others continued to come through with similar claims.

Last week (Dec 12), model Beverly Johnson accused Cosby of sexually abusing her.

Writing her version of events, published in Vanity Fair, the 62-year-old claimed Cosby lured her into his apartment after they met on the set of The Cosby Show, under the guise of wanting to help her further her career.

She claimed she “yelled” at Cosby calling him a “motherf**ker” after realising he had drugged her before Cosby shoved her out of his home.

As a result, appearances on The Queen Latifah Show and The Late Show With David Letterman were cancelled. NBC scrapped a Bill Cosby sitcom that was in development, TV Land pulled The Cosby Show reruns off the air and Netflix indefinitely postponed rolling out Bill Cosby 77, an original stand-up special.

In addition, eight of at least 36 performances in a stand-up comedy tour of the US and Canada have been cancelled.

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