Keshia Knight Pulliam Fired from ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ for Not Calling Bill Cosby

Keshia Knight Pulliam

Keshia Knight Pulliam, widely known for her role as Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show, has become the first contestant to be fired from The Celebrity Apprentice — because she refused to reach out to Bill Cosby for assistance in raising funds for charity.

On the Sunday Jan. 5 episode, Pulliam, who was project manager for her team, that included fellow contestants Kate Gosselin, Vivica A. Fox, Shawn Johnson, Bradi Glanville, Kenya Moore and Leeza Gibbons was fired after she expressed that she did not feel comfortable giving Cosby a phone call to boost her team’s charity funds.

“I have not talked to Bill Cosby on the phone in I don’t know how long,” she explained in the boardroom, when criticized for not reaching out to the star. “For me to pick up the phone having not talked to you for five years, except for when we run into each other for a Cosby event, I feel that’s not my place to do.”

Donald Trump decided that Pulliam’s decision not to call Cosby was the fatal error that caused her team’s failure.

“You are an amazing person, but you were the project manager. You didn’t make one call that I really believe that if you’d called that gentleman he would have helped you, even if you hadn’t spoken to him in years,” he said.

Taping for the episode took place back in March 2014, before Cosby’s name was tainted by rape allegations in the headlines.

“This show was taped just before the terrible Bill Cosby revelations came to light,” Trump tweeted after the show. “She still should have asked him for money — goes to charity,” he added.

On Monday, Pulliam did appear on NBC’s Today, where she addressed the allegations against her former TV dad.

“What I can say is this: I wasn’t there,” she said. “No one was there except for the two people who know exactly what happened. All I can speak to is the man that I know and I love.”

She added: “Ultimately, they’re just that — allegations. You know, it’s very much been played out in the court of public opinion. But we’re still in America, where ultimately you’re innocent until proven guilty. I wasn’t there. That’s just not the man I know. So I can’t speak to it.”

(Photo Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for BET)