— -- “The Cosby Show's" Phylicia Rashad is speaking out about the Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations, defending her longtime friend.
“I love him,” she told Roger Friedman's Showbiz 411 earlier this week at Paramount's lunch for the movie "Selma."
Rashad, who played Cosby's wife on TV for more than a decade starting in the 1980's, said she never saw any behavior that could lead her to believe the allegations that resurfaced starting in November after being dormant for more than a decade.
“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," she said. "This show represented America to the outside world. This was the American family. And now you’re seeing it being destroyed. Why?”
She also defended Cosby's real-life wife Camille, saying, "This is a tough woman, a smart woman."
As for Cosby, 79, not speaking out himself, Rashad said, "If he spoke now, what do you think the media would do with it?”
Starting in November, various women spoke to media claiming Cosby drugged and sexually abused them dating as far back as the 1960's and 1970's. He has always denied the allegations.
Cosby's lawyer released a statement early on saying, "The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true."
Another attorney for Cosby, Martin D. Singer, added in late November, "The new, never-before-heard claims from women who have come forward in the past two weeks with unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40, or even 50 years ago have escalated far past the point of absurdity.
"These brand new claims about alleged decades-old events are becoming increasingly ridiculous, and it is completely illogical that so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years."
A request for comment from Rashad's rep was not immediately returned to ABC News.