Whoopi Goldberg has been Bill Cosby's biggest ally since numerous women have come forward claiming he drugged and sexually abused them
. But on Tuesday's The View
, the co-host seemed to be changing her mind about the comedian's innocence.
Goldberg spoke with ABC News chief legal analyst Dan Abrams after receiving quite a bit of heat for defending The Cosby Show
star. She asked Abrams to break down the allegations against Cosby
and speak on how likely it would be for the 78-year-old comedian to face trial or even a possible conviction.
Goldberg inquired as to why Cosby had not been arrested if nearly 50 women have claimed that he drugged and raped them. "As a serial rapist, why is he still on the street?" she asked of the allegations.
Abrams was adamant that nothing can be done legally because the civil and criminal statute of limitations have expired for the vast majority of the women accusing Cosby of a crime. Abrams said that it's likely that Cosby will never be behind bars.
"Why is there a statute of limitations?" Goldberg asked. "I always thought that rape cases were open-ended."
Abrams explained that there is a movement to remove the statue of limitations but, as of now, this law does apply to sexual assault cases.
The 59-year-old entertainer was shocked to learn that Cosby's accusers will most likely not be able to take him to court.
"I think you look at this case and you see the number of accusations and you say, 'Wait a second…' I always thought if you take somebody to court, you can have the accuser say, 'That’s who did it,'" she told Abrams. "But you're saying all that is left to these women is the court of public opinion."
Goldberg then conceded, "If this is to be tried in the court of public opinion, all the information that is out there kind of points to guilt."
"It looks bad, Bill," Goldberg noted, adding, "Either speak up, or shut up, because people know now there's a lot more out there than they thought."
However, Abrams insisted that Cosby, who has maintained his innocence and has never been criminally charged, is not speaking out because any admission could be held against him.
Goldberg then encouraged victims of sexual abuse not to wait to report it. "We need you to step out," she said.
Goldberg also asked viewers to call their state representatives and implore that we change the laws on statute of limitations.
"I can't say any more 'innocent until proven guilty,'" Goldberg concluded.
Her new open-minded approach to the Cosby scandal is a far cry from how she reacted last week to the unsealing of 2005 court documents
that revealed Cosby admitted to obtaining Quaaludes for young women he wanted to have sex with.
"Save your texts; save your nasty comments. I don't care. I say this because this is my opinion, and in America, still, I know it’s a shock, but you are still innocent until proven guilty," she told viewers at the time. "He has not been proven a rapist."
Filmmaker Judd Apatow insisted via Twitter that Goldberg stop supporting Cosby
. "I think @WhoopiGoldberg is trying to be a loyal friend," he tweeted this past week. "But @WhoopiGoldberg -- he admitted to giving this to women to get them to have sex. So what are you defending?"
Apatow is scheduled to join Goldberg and the women of The View on Thursday's show.