Belfast Telegraph

Keshia Knight Pulliam will always be there for Bill Cosby

The star claims attending his sexual assault trial for moral support is "in no way" a sign of her condoning his alleged behaviour.

A potential guilty verdict in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial "won't change the love" his TV daughter Keshia Knight Pulliam has for the veteran comedian.

The actress accompanied her The Cosby Show co-star into the Montgomery County Courthouse in Pennsylvania on 5 June (17) for the first day of his criminal trial, and told reporters she was there to hear "the truth" and lend her support to the troubled funnyman because "it's what you do" for friends.

The case was handed to the jury on Monday evening (12Jun17), and during the third day of deliberations on Wednesday (14Jun17), Pulliam appeared on U.S. breakfast show Today to further discuss her reasons for publicly backing Cosby, who pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated indecent assault. The charges date back to a 2004 encounter with former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his Pennsylvania home, where he allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her. The disgraced star maintains the sex they had was consensual.

Pulliam, who insisted the Cosby described by prosecutors is not the man she knows, wanted to "be there" for the 79-year-old because that's what she would have expected of him had she found herself in such a situation.

"The true test of family, of friendship, of just loyalty comes (during tough times)...," she said. "It's easy to just be there for someone when things are good, when business is good, when money is good, and all of these things, but I just felt I wanted to do what I would have wanted to receive (if I were in his shoes)."

Pulliam went on to admit she was happy to see the veteran actor "in good spirits" during the trial, adding, "I was grateful to see that his spirit hadn't been broken as a result of this process, because it's arduous. There's nothing happy, there's nothing good about it for either side... It's just not a good situation."

And when asked how she would feel about the man she has adored since childhood if he is convicted by the jury, the 38-year-old mum stated, "I'm just gonna have to cross that bridge when I come to it."

"I'll be disappointed, however, it won't change the love," she continued, "because when you have family, people falter, people make mistakes, things happen."

But Pulliam made it clear her approach to the Cosby scandal doesn't mean she condones any kind of sexual assault.

"It's nothing that I take lightly or that I condone in any way, shape, or form," she added. "But he's still a person, he's still a father, a husband, a parent, someone's son... However you look at it, it's not a favourable situation."

More than 50 women have come forward with decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct in recent years, but Cosby's representatives have always maintained his innocence.

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