Keshia Knight Pulliam was the first to be fired from this season's "Celebrity Apprentice," in part for not calling on her TV dad Bill Cosby, and now she's explaining why she didn't seek Cosby's aid in fundraising for her "Apprentice" task.
"I hadn't talked to Mr. Cosby on the phone or in person in the last five years and it would have just been tacky to call him and say, 'Oh yeah, by the way, you know, I need this money. Honestly, had my other donors come through in time, I didn't need that," the 35-year-old actress said on Monday's Access Hollywood Live of the episode that was filmed prior Cosby's recent sexual abuse allegations.
"I did not feel [calling on Cosby] was necessary," she told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover. "Truth be told, had all of our teammates contributed as much time as they spent throwing me under the bus and actually had put in some more work, we would have fared much better."
Billy and Kit asked Keshia about her reaction to the Cosby allegations.
"Ultimately, I really can't speak to that. Whoever is involved, those are the people who were there. I wasn't there. I can only speak to the great man that I know and love, who has been so generous, who has been such a philanthropist and giving back millions of dollars to education and schools. And just the man I grew up knowing. It's really not my place to speak on that," she explained. "Unfortunately, in the court of public opinion everyone has formed their opinion, but we're still in America and you're innocent until proven guilty of any crimes."
And how does Keshia, who played Rudy Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," remember her onscreen dad?
"He was awesome, he was the guy who made jokes with me to make me remember my lines… he's the man who inspired me to be such an entrepreneur… I feel that his legacy and all the great things he's done speak volumes," she said.
Adding, "Everything that's happened, it's so unfortunate, the whole thing is very, very unfortunate. I can't ignore the legacy he's built."
"The Celebrity Apprentice" airs Mondays at 8/7 c on NBC.
Cosby has not been charged with any crime.
-- Jesse Spero