Post Mortems

Apprentice's Keshia Knight Pulliam: 'No Regrets' About Not Calling Bill Cosby

Keshia Knight Pulliam

The already-scandalous Celebrity Apprentice got even more controversial in Sunday’s season premiere with the utterance of two words: Bill. Cosby.

Keshia Knight Pulliam — best remembered as Cosby’s pint-sized Cosby Show co-star Rudy Huxtable — was the first to be fired, presumably because she openly chose not to solicit funds from her former TV dad; a Cosby-sized donation could have saved the women’s team from losing the challenge.

TVLine caught up with Pulliam at Trump Tower in New York for her thoughts on that decision, her firing and how she views her overall experience on the show. (Spoiler alert: She was in for a few surprises.)

TVLINE | What were your expectations going into the show, and how were they met — or not?
For me, it was just about going in and winning money for my charity. I was focused on increasing its visibility and giving back, overall. I assumed more people would be focused on the charity aspect of the show, but not so much. It’s fine, though, I walked away with $25,000 for Kamp Kizzy, which is a household name now. So it was a win-win without having to compromise my integrity.

apprentice-womenTVLINE | Speaking of integrity, who do you feel really threw you under the bus? Who are you least excited to see come live-reunion time? 
Honestly, I’m fine. I don’t mind seeing anyone. I feel like I carried myself in a manner I’m proud of, and for other people, that’s their business. They know who they are.

TVLINE | Calling Bill Cosby could have saved you. Do you look back at that decision as your downfall?
No, I don’t. I feel that I made the right decision, absolutely. I have no regrets.

TVLINE | You spoke very highly of Cosby on the premiere, but this was all filmed before his latest rape allegations came out. Do you see him in a different light now?
I really can’t speak to that because that wasn’t my experience with him. I can only speak to the man who gave back to so many schools and charities and created such an amazing show that’s changed the landscape of television. It’s a very unfortunate situation, the whole thing.

TVLINE | And what’s next for you?
Really, just everything I’ve been doing already. I’ll continue with my non-profits, my other businesses and Kamp Kizzy.

(Note: We also spoke with Donald Trump, who said he would have encouraged Pulliam to call Cosby even after the scandal erupted because “the money’s for charity.” He continued, “I don’t know if he’s innocent or not, but if he is innocent, he’s certainly handling it very poorly.”)

All right, readers, what are your thoughts on the Apprentice premiere? Should Pulliam have called Cosby? Did she deserve to be fired? Who are you rooting for now? Drop it all in the comments section below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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14 Comments
  1. Mik says:

    Ouch, forgot not to check TVline before watching reality comps. Oh well, cool that you’re doing interviews.

  2. Jan says:

    I don’t watch the show (because I detest Trump). I’ve seen a few interviews with Kesia, today, and it sounds to me like she displayed a lot of class. Frankly, with that group of contestants, that’s quite refreshing. She said she hadn’t had contact with Cosby for several years and felt it would be tacky to contact him out of the blue for a donation.

    • Andy Swift says:

      I completely agree. I hate calling people I haven’t seen in months, let alone years — as if asking for money isn’t awkward enough.

    • BTM says:

      I also agree with Ms. Pulliam. I hate contacting old colleagues out of the blue for job leads if I haven’t kept reasonable contact when I don’t need anything.

  3. Jenna says:

    I didn’t see the episode, but her comments earned much respect from me. Classy lady. Probably too much class, and integrity, for a reality show.

  4. webly3 says:

    I did see the episode and I felt that Kate should have been fired. Kate raised no money and was a bit lazy during the task. If anyone’s seen her cancelled show, they should know that she’s a hot mess and she will undoubtedly be fired sometime during the show. I respect Keshia as a person, but she didn’t do a great job as Project Manager. However, I do not think she should have been fired. It was a money raising task – yes. Keshia did raise money and she did have money coming. She was slightly more organized than Geraldo. The girls team was at a serious disadvantage because none of them have anyone that famous on it. It didn’t really matter who would be the project manager because it seems that no matter who would have been the project manager – they would have been fired for not raising that much money in a money-raising task. I feel that Trump seriously hurt the girls team by not getting rid of Kate now who not only did horribly at the fundraising portion, but was a bit lazy as well.

    • C says:

      I dont like Kate, but Trump fired the right person.. Keshia did a terrible job running the task and it was very disorganized… When you lose by that much, it should always be the project manager who goes.

  5. BTM says:

    Holy crap! I just agreed with Donald Trump about something!

  6. NC says:

    Kate should’ve gotten fired. She brings absolutely nothing to the table and raised no money.
    Props to Keshia for handling herself with class on the episode and in this interview.

  7. Tammy says:

    Trump wanted Bill Cosby to be on the show is the problem. Either by voice on a phone call or if he was lucky, in person. He wanted the publicity for his tv show. He didn’t give a crap what her relationship is with the man. So I think everyone who has ever met Trump, even if just for a second, should call him up and ask for money. It’s for charity!

  8. Ann says:

    I didn’t watch but I support Keshia’s choice. It was a classy move. Keshia has worked for Tyler Perry and a few other people too. I feel like she was fired because Trump realized he wasn’t going to be able to tap into any of the names she knew and decided to call it quits. Part of the appeal of the show is celebrities bringing in their celebrities friends. That’s not what she wanted to do. If he wanted that he should have told her before she signed up

  9. rowan77 says:

    As usual, Trump is wrong. Cosby is doing the exact right thing for someone in his situation – not talking to the press and not making statement or clarifications in public. That’s the job of his attorney and while it is possible he is a serial rapist (or not), he is taking the smart route and listening to his attorney and letting the law firm deal with things.

    Trump likes to spout off and listens to no one.

  10. B. Arndt says:

    I think all of the right people have been fired so far. It’s strange that after all of her time on the show, Keshia didn’t feel comfortable enough to call Bill Cosby, especially since the task was centered around donations.