NEW YORK, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Keshia Knight Pulliam was eliminated over Bill Cosby on Sunday's episode of Celebrity Apprentice.
Host Donald Trump fired the 35-year-old actress from the NBC reality competition after she refused to reach out to the 77-year-old actor. Pulliam portrayed Cosby's daughter on The Cosby Show, but the star refused to use the connection during a fundraising challenge.
"I have not talked to Bill Cosby on the phone in I don't know how long," she explained. "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."
Pulliam's elimination immediately caused controversy due to Cosby being accused of sexual assault by a number of women. The episode was filmed before the most recent wave of allegations, as Trump later pointed out on Twitter.
"This show was taped just before the terrible Bill Cosby revelations came to light," he wrote. "She still should have asked him for money-goes to charity."
Pulliam addressed her elimination and the allegations against Cosby Monday on Today. The actress defended her decision to not reach out to the actor during competition, and declared her continued love for the star and his work.
"I wasn't there. No one was there except the two people who know exactly what happened," she said. "Ultimately, they're that, allegations. And it's very much been played out in the court of public opinion ... That's just not the man I know, so I can't speak to it."
Pulliam portrayed Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992. She went on to star as Miranda Lucas-Payne on TBS comedy House of Payne for seven seasons, and most recently appeared in UP television movie The Love Letter.