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February 26, 2018

Bill Cosby's daughter, Ensa, dies at 44 years old

Death Celebrities
Bill Cosby David Swanson/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS via SIPA

In this file photo, Bill Cosby is arraigned at Montgomery County District Court in Cheltenham, Pa., on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015.

Ensa Cosby, the daughter of embattled comedian and Philadelphia native Bill Cosby, died last Friday at the age of 44, according to a report from gossip site TMZ.

Cosby was a staunch supporter of her father, whose reputation has been tarnished by widespread allegations of sexual assault over a period spanning decades.

"My father has been publicly lynched in the media," Ensa Cosby said last year on the New York-based radio show "The Breakfast Club. "My family, my young daughter, my young niece and nephew have had to stand helplessly by and watch the double standards of pretending to protect the rights of some, but ignoring the rights of others and exposing innocent children to such appalling accusations about someone they love dearly and who has been so loving and kind to them is beyond cruel."

The cause of Cosby's death was not initially known, though TMZ noted that "she had significant medical issues in the past" and may have been in line for a kidney transplant. Cosby family spokesperson Andrew Wyatt later said Ensa died in Massachusetts as a result of renal disease.

In June 2017, after more than 52 hours of deliberations, a deadlocked jury failed to reach a verdict in Bill Cosby's long-awaited sexual assault trial. The case, set for a retrial in Montgomery County this April, centers on allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his Cheltenham home in 2004.

The Constand case is the only criminal matter to arise from similar allegations against the 80-year-old entertainer, who is also fighting civil lawsuits by 10 women on both coasts.

Ensa Cosby is the second of Cosby's children to die after his son, Ennis, was killed by a teenager during a failed Los Angeles robbery attempt in 1997.