• Cosby was released from prison last week
  • Rashad celebrated her former co-star's release
  • Rashad removed her tweet after receiving backlash from Howard University

Bill Cosby took a swipe at Howard University on Independence Day after the law school reprimanded his on-screen spouse, Phylicia Rashad, for celebrating the actor’s recent prison release. Cosby was previously convicted of rape but his sentence was overturned last week.

In a statement obtained by Deadline, Cosby pressed that freedom of speech “is taught or supposed to be taught every day at that renowned law school, which resides on your campus,” directing his tirade at the reputed university. The actor, known as “America’s Dad,” also blamed the media for the upheaval at the Capitol in January.

“Those same media insurrectionists are trying to demolish the Constitution of these United States of America on this Independence Day,” he said in a statement released by his representative, Andrew Wyatt. “No technicality—it’s a violation of one’s rights & we the people stand in support of Ms. Phylicia Rashad,” he added.

The tirade followed the backlash received by Rashad, who tweeted within hours of Cosby’s release last week her words of support for the embattled 83-year-old actor. In her tweet, Rashad shared a photo of her former co-star and captioned her post, “FINALLY!!! A terrible wrong is righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”

Rashad, an alumna of Howard University and the current dean of its College of Fine Arts, came under fire for openly supporting the widely accused actor and has since removed her “upsetting tweet.” She also issued on Friday her “most sincere apology” to Howard University students and their parents, saying her previous tweet was in no way directed towards survivors of sexual assault.

“I vehemently oppose sexual violence, find no excuse for such behavior, and I know that Howard University has a zero-tolerance policy toward interpersonal violence,” she wrote in a letter. The actress also revealed her plans to become more proactive in participating in trainings that would help her become a stronger ally to sexual assault survivors.

Cosby and Rashad are long-time celebrity friends. They played husband and wife from 1984 to 1992 on the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show,” then from 1996 to 2000 on the CBS sitcom “Cosby.”

26. Bill Cosby
26. Bill Cosby ($400 million) - Cosby was once a household name, actor, musician, comedian, and author. Everything changed when 60 women came forward with accounts of sexual assault and rape. Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images