Bill Cosby’s Alleged Sex Assault Victims Come Together for One Powerful New …

27 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

35 Bill Cosby Accusers Photographed and Interviewed For Powerful New York Magazine Cover.

In an astonishing piece published Sunday night by New York Magazine, 35 brave women who have come forward to accuse comedian Bill Cosby of decades-long alleged sexual assaults, revealed explicit details of each individual encounter. The accompanying feature is overwhelming—in addition to an essay by Noreen Malone, the magazine has published online individual stories that focus on each victim’s allegations against Cosby, and a portfolio of portraits and group photographs by Amanda Demme. “More has changed in the past few years for women who allege rape than in all the decades since the women’s movement began,” Malone writes at the outset of her essay.There was the disoriented and drugged woman who said Bill Cosby put his forearm under her throat after she revealed to hotel staff she was 19 and staying with the superstar.

But these allegations are by no means new, with some stretching back decades—to a time when the culture of rape in America left victims little recourse but to suffer silently, and in shame. The testimony that follows—in both text and video form—illustrates the scale and diversity of the abuse accusers say Cosby inflicted upon them over the span of decades. More than 40 women have so far accused the comedian of sexual assault, but the cover story represents a sea change in how the comedian’s alleged victims have been publicly perceived. Today, the way we think and talk about rape has evolved, creating a safer space for survivors to feel empowered by speaking up and reclaiming their victimhood.

On Sunday, the magazine published excerpts of interviews with each woman for a 13-page photo essay, covering accusations they have made against the comedian and the backlash they have faced. “Listen, he was America’s favorite dad,” said Barbara Bowman, who says she was raped as a 17-year-old actress. The upcoming issue features a number of Cosby’s alleged victims, including Janice Dickinson and Beverly Johnson, on the black and white cover, showing the women seated in rows with the date of the alleged assault underneath them. From the essay: This project began six months ago, when we started contacting the then-30 women who had publicly claimed Cosby assaulted them, and it snowballed in the same way that the initial accusations did: First two women signed on, then others heard about it and joined in, and so on. Any woman who entered his orbit could potentially end up fading in and out of reality after he drugged them with powerful Quaaludes, the victims say. “I went into this thinking he was going to be my father. The mag’s issue contains the text, “Cosby: The Women, An Unwelcome Sisterhood.” This powerful story—told in testimony, video, and a stunning photo portfolio—presents a record of trauma and survival, the memories that remain of the decades-old incidents.

Just a few days before the story was published, we photographed the final two women, bringing our total to 35. “I’m no longer afraid,” said Chelan Lasha, who came forward late last year to say that Cosby had drugged her when she was 17. “I feel more powerful than him.” The 35 women featured have been interviewed separately, but they all appear together on the front cover of New York’s July issue. Read more: nymag.com/cosby-women. : Amanda Demme The cover comes one week after a deposition of Cosby taken during a sexual assault case from 2005 was published by the New York Times. The comedian’s deposition was recently released, in which Cosby admitted to obtaining drugs with the intent of giving them to women with whom he wanted to have sex. Many of them, according to New York, have said they know others who have been assaulted by the Cosby Show family man, and are choosing to still keep quiet about it. A new attorney for the actor, Monique Pressley, is out to try and spare the comedian’s reputation, appearing on Good Morning America to passionately defend her client, and maintained that quantity doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the truth. “I’m not making conclusions—and you know that I can’t—about whether someone is lying or not,” she said in the interview. “What I am saying is that Mr.

The two had a confidential agreement as part of a settlement of their federal case in Pennsylvania. “When I see Jell-O pudding, it comes flooding back. Over the course of a decade, public opinion has shifted from seeing Cosby’s accusers as money-hungry starlets to seeing them as a stunningly large group of alleged victims with remarkably similar alleged experiences. Bill Cosby, that encounter, that one time, played a major factor in the direction my life took, toward the dark side,” Mays told the magazine. “People would mention a joke that he said: ‘Wasn’t that funny?’ And all the while, my stomach would just be churning,” Joan Tarshis, 67, said.

She does not say to me, don’t ever do that again,” he said. “She doesn’t walk out with an attitude of a huff, because I think I’m a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things, whatever you want to call them.” Even a Smithsonian exhibition of the comedian’s extensive art collection has been the subject of controversy. “When you hear OJ Simpson’s name, you don’t think: ‘Oh, great football player.’ That doesn’t come to mind first.

I suggest you shut your mouth.’ ” “I was just too scared, and I also had the extra burden of not really wanting to take an African-American man down,” former model Jewel Allison, 52, said. “If you give a woman — or a man, for that matter — without his or her knowledge a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape,” he said July 15. After delivering a monologue to him, he pulled out a script set in a bar in which her character was supposed to be drunk, she said. “He poured a glass of white wine.

He was naked, and he was forcing himself into my mouth,” Thomas said. “He said to me, ‘I have something stronger.’ And I said, ‘You know I don’t do drugs.’ He said, ‘You’re one of my best friends. I could have walked down any street of Manhattan at any time and said, ‘I’m being raped and drugged by Bill Cosby,’ but who the hell would have believed me?

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