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Phylicia Rashad defends Bill Cosby, says media treating him unfairly

3 more women come forward, claim Bill Cosby assaulted them

Three more women came forward Wednesday alleging that they were sexually assaulted by comedian Bill Cosby, bringing the number of women who have stepped forward with similar accusations to more than two dozen.

At the same time, Cosby's one-time co-star, Phylicia Rashad, spoke out in defense of the comedian. Speaking to ABC News, Rashad said Cosby was being treated unfairly in the media and that he was the victim of an orchestrated attack.

The women appeared at a news conference hosted by attorney Gloria Allred, who renewed her call for Cosby to either waive the statute of limitations that blocks some women from suing the comedian or allow arbitration so that the women can be compensated.

Allred represents many of the women who claim to have been assaulted.

The Los Angeles police have opened a criminal investigation and last month detectives interviewed a woman who says she was sexually assaulted by Cosby at the Playboy Mansion decades ago.

An attorney representing Cosby dismissed the accusation as being "patently false."

No criminal charges have been filed but Police Chief Charlie Beck said his detectives would investigate any allegations, even if they occurred past the legal time limit for prosecution.

The women who came forward Wednesday contend they were assaulted years ago, two saying they were attacked during the 1980s, and the third during the '90s.

"Predators have no right to prey upon women, to drug them, to sexually assault them, to hurt them and to target them, humiliate them and force them to endure physical and emotional pain," Allred said.

Allred also fired back at Phylicia Rashad, who portrayed Cosby's wife in his longer-running television sitcom and who has supported him in the face of the mounting accusations.

"Forget these women," Rashad said in an interview earlier this week. "What you are seeing is he destruction of a legacy and it's a legacy that is so important to the culture."

But Allred said that if Cosby's legacy is destroyed by these accusations, he had no one to blame but himself.

Cosby has been dropped from television projects and some appearances since the women started coming forward.

For more Los Angeles news, follow @ParviniParlance on Twitter.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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