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Comedian Bill Cosby in mourning as daughter dies

 Bill Cosby [Photo: Courtesy]

Bill Cosby's daughter Ensa has died aged 44.

She passed away on Friday night in Massachusetts, with sources telling TMZ.com that while the cause of death is unknown, she was believed to suffer from kidney issues and has been awaiting a transplant.

She was a strong supporter of her father and released a statement last year insisting he was 'innocent' of the sexual assault accusations levied against him by more than 60 women.

“I am a very private person and have chosen to live my life quietly with my family. But for my child, my niece, my nephew, and my father, I cannot sit quietly anymore,” she said in a statement.

“The accusations against my father have been one-sided from the beginning. When he tried to defend himself, he was sued in civil court. I’ve seen the accusations become more horrific and extreme with time, and I’ve witnessed my father’s reputation and legendary works be dismissed without any proof," she continued.

"I strongly believe my father is innocent of the crimes alleged against him and I believe that racism has played a big role in all aspects of this scandal."

 Ensa Cosby [Photo: Courtesy]

"My father has been publicly lynched in the media. 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 yoga instructor added.

She is survived by her mother Camille, siblings Erika, 52, Erinn, 51, and Evin, 41, and husband Martin McLean.

Cosby also lost his son Ennis in 1997, when he was murdered in a failed attempted robbery aged just 27.

In recent years, the actor - who starred in the 1980s TV series The Cosby Show - has seen his family-friendly reputation destroyed by dozens of sexual assault allegations.

He has denied assaulting anyone, saying any encounters with his accusers were consensual.

Cosby is scheduled go to trial on April 2 on charges that he drugged and assaulted Andrea Constand at his home in the Philadelphia suburb of Cheltenham. His first trial ended in a mistrial in June.

Pennsylvania prosecutors asked the judge in the case last week to allow the testimony of 19 other accusers, including 12 women who were not allowed to testify in the entertainer's first trial.

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