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Bill Cosby’s daughter Ensa dead at 44

Bill Cosby on stage in Philadelphia Jan. 22, 2018. Cosby's daughter, Ensa, died at age 44 due to kidney issues. (Tom Gralish/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

Ensa Cosby, the daughter of comedian Bill Cosby, has died at 44 due to kidney issues, the New York Daily News has confirmed.

"The Cosby Family thanks many people for their prayers for their beloved and beautiful Ensa, who recently died from renal disease," Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said in a statement.

Ensa died in Massachusetts last Friday, according to TMZ, which was first to report the news. She was the second-youngest of Cosby's five children with his wife, Camille.

Renal disease, which is another name for kidney disease, occurs when a person's kidneys lose their ability to function.

Ensa may have been in need of a kidney transplant before her death, TMZ reported.

Last year, she issued a statement vehemently defending her father, who is accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women who have come forward in recent years.

"The accusations against my father have been one-sided since the beginning and, when he tried to defend himself, he was sued in civil court," Ensa said in a recorded statement that aired on Power 105.1's "The Breakfast Club" last May.

"I've seen the accusations become more horrific and extreme with time and I have witnessed my father's reputation and legendary work be dismissed without any proof. 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."

Cosby, 80, has not personally issued a statement regarding his daughter's death.

The comedian's only son, Ennis, was fatally shot in 1997 by 18-year-old Mikhail Markhasev during a failed robbery attempt in Los Angeles. He was 27.