Keshia Knight Pulliam Says Bill Cosby’s Help on ‘The Apprentice’ “Wasn’t Necessary”
The actress who played Rudy Huxtable had no regrets for not asking TV dad for help in episode taped before recent rape allegations
Keshia Knight Pulliam was the first to go on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, but she doesn’t regret not asking her TV dad Bill Cosby for help.
"I did not feel it was necessary," Pulliam told Access Hollywood on Monday. "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."
On Sunday night’s episode, Donald Trump fired Pulliam and questioned her for not using her connections with the Cosby Show star to help her raise money for her Apprentice task. Pulliam told Trump that she hadn’t spoken to the comedian in years, but Trump believed the action would have saved her from being the first to go.
Although the episode was filmed in March 2014 before Cosby’s flood of rape allegations, Pulliam explained that calling Cosby for the first time in five years for money would have been inconsiderate.
"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,' ” said Pulliam. “Honestly, had my other donors come through in time, I didn't need that.”
When asked about Cosby’s rape scandal, Pulliam responded that she couldn’t speak to the accusations, but focused on his positive contributions.
“Whoever is involved, those are the people who were there,” said Pulliam. “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.
"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."
Although Pulliam was fired for not exercising all of her resources in fundraising, she feels Cosby's father-like role in her (TV) life is a contribution in itself to the entrepreneur she has grown into.
"He was awesome," recalls Pulliam. "He was the guy who made jokes with me to make me remember my lines…he was the man who exposed me to Spelman College…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."