Soul singer/actress Jill Scott has come under fire from fans for defending comedian Bill Cosby amid his ongoing sex assault scandal.

The Cosby Show star hit headlines last month (Nov14) after more than a dozen women went public with allegations suggesting the veteran funnyman had taken advantage of them years ago.

The actor's attorney has repeatedly blasted the accusations, which have led to a number of concert cancellations on Cosby's current stand-up comedy tour, but he has found one staunch supporter in Scott, who refuses to believe the claims of sexual assault until the alleged victims, including former model Janice DICkinson and actresses Louisa Moritz and Michelle Hurd, provide "substantiated proof" of their accounts.

The Golden hitmaker commented on the allegations last week (ends28Nov14) after one Twitter follower encouraged her to sign an online petition calling on bosses at Cosby's alma mater, Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to drop him from their Board of Trustees. Cosby and his wife Camille also have a scholarship named in their honour at Temple, where Scott was awarded an honorary degree from the comedian earlier this year (14).

Replying to the fan, she wrote, "So they've proven the alleged allegations? I didn't know. Will they also be giving him back the millions he's donated?"

Her comments sparked a firestorm online and she was subsequently bombarded with negative responses, prompting Scott to fire back, "U know Bill Cosby? I do child and this is insane. Proof. Period."

Responding to another user, she wrote, "sides with Mr. Cosby? No. I side with substantiated proof when media/society is attempting to destroy a magnificent Legacy", adding, "I'm respecting a man who has done more for the image of Brown people that almost anyone Ever. From Fat Albert (cartoon character he created) to the Huxtables (fictional family on The Cosby Show)."

She attempted to put an end to the furore on Monday (01Dec14), when she added, "We will respectfully have to agree to disagree", before urging rape victims to report such crimes to police.

She posted, "Rape is a despicable, cowardly crime. If you've been raped - plz (please) do Not shower, go to police Immediately, have a rap (sic) kit done. Get Evidence."

Cosby voluntarily resigned from his role at Temple University on Monday, days after also stepping down from a fundraising role at another alma mater, the University of Massachusetts Amherst.