As Bill Cosby's rape trial approaches (it is scheduled to begin on June 5), the former TV icon is likely preparing himself to address accusations leveled at him by several dozen women who say he sexually assaulted them. But two other women are coming forward in defense of the once-beloved TV dad: his real-life daughters Erinn and Ensa.
Cosby's grown girls each released a statement about their father on Monday, May 15, claiming that he has been "publicly lynched" by the media and that "racism played a big role" in his downfall.
Ensa's statement began, "I'm a very private person and I've chosen to live my life with my family quietly but for my child, my niece and my nephew, and my father, I can't sit quietly anymore. The man portrayed in the media today is not who my father is."
She adds, "The accusations against my father have been one sided since the beginning, and when he tried to defend himself he was sued in civil court. I've seen the accusations become more horrific and extreme with time and I have witnessed my father's reputation and legendary work be dismissed without any proof. I strongly believe my father is innocent of the crimes alleged against him and I believe that racism has played a big role in all aspects of this scandal."
She closed her statement saying, "My father has been publicly lynched in the media and my family, my young daughter, my young niece and nephew have had to stand helplessly by and watch the double standard or pretending to protect the rights of some but ignoring the rights of others and exposing innocent children to such appalling accusations about someone that they love dearly and who has been so loving and kind to them is beyond cruel."
Erinn released her own statement, saying, "Over the last few years my family has been forced to sit by and watch as our father has been attacked in the media and it has been difficult to remain silent to protect our loved ones from the scorn that gossip fueled in the news as big entertainment. But what you hear in the media is a far cry from who our father is."
She went on, "What my father and my family had to endure these last few years have made me ashamed of our country today. I cannot understand how our society has permitted my father to be condemned so unjustly and cruelly in the court of public opinion without evidence or proof and with no verdict or judgment. Like the cruel history of our people, the legal system and the protections of the law do not seem to exist for him today. My father's legacy has been tarnished and his livelihood taken from him, yet during this now two-year media frenzy, my father and my family's plight has become a money maker for many trying to capitalize at his expense."
She ended by saying, "I will never respect or understand a society that allows an accused to be convicted without proof on his or her date in court. It is truly unbelievable."
Hear the statements in their entirety, below.
See the latest on Cosby's trial with The Wendy Williams Show, above.
(Photo: Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)