Entertainer and former classmate Bill Cosby speaks during a public...

Entertainer and former classmate Bill Cosby speaks during a public memorial service for Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner Lewis Katz Wednesday, June 4, 2014, at Temple University in Philadelphia. Credit: AP / Matt Rourke

A nephew of Bill Cosby has spoken in defense of his uncle, who has been accused of multiple sexual assaults from decades past.

Sports nutritionist and media entrepreneur Braxton A. Cosby told the website of author and businessman Farrah Gray, "I believe he is innocent and unless the judicial system can prove otherwise, I stand behind him and his contributions."

He said Cosby "and his legacy are still more alive and well than ever before. He is still performing and going about normal business despite the unjustified claims," adding, "I want to remind everyone that we live in the greatest country in the entire world, one that prides itself on the moral law that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. That's where we stand at this time with the allegations brought against my uncle."

Comedian Hannibal Buress, in a stand-up performance last month, had called Cosby, 77, a rapist, reviving allegations raised in a civil suit in 2006. Since then, numerous women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault from 1969 through the 1980s. Cosby's attorney in mid-November said Cosby "does not intend to dignify" what the lawyer called "decade-old, discredited allegations."

Meanwhile Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee, said Wednesday that author and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson will replace Cosby as a speaker at a Dec. 5 dinner. University president Joe Wiley said in a statement that "names we have seen in the media represent real people who will be affected long after FHU's dinner has passed."

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