New York’s Stunning Cosby Cover

Thirty-five of his accusers sit for a portrait, and tell their stories.

The cover of New York magazine this week features pictures of 35 women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Excerpts from interviews with the three dozen women are inside the magazine.

“There are now 46 women who have come forward publicly to accuse Cosby of rape or sexual assault; the 35 women here are the accusers who were willing to be photographed and interviewed by New York,” the magazine says in an accompanying essay. “The group, at present, ranges in age from early 20s to 80 and includes supermodels Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson alongside waitresses and Playboy bunnies and journalists and a host of women who formerly worked in show business. Many of the women say they know of others still out there who’ve chosen to remain silent.”

The cover drew a strong reaction almost as soon as it was unveiled on Sunday night.

“The portraits, photographed by Amanda Demme, concisely drive home the point,” Julianne Escobedo Shepherd wrote at Jezebel. “The women’s physical presence silences anyone who might still have a shred of doubt—as a collection of real faces, real women courageous enough to speak out, the allegations metastasize, become more tangible than headlines. No one can deny their multitudes, and the sheer horror and revulsion that accompanies their stories, of Bill Cosby allegedly drugging them and raping them and using his tremendous power and influence to silence them. No more.”

In related news, the New York Times reports that Spelman College has discontinued a professorship endowed by Cosby. “Bill and Camille Cosby donated $20 million to the college in 1988. At the time, the gift was the largest single contribution to a black college. The funds were used in part to build the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Academic Center. Spelman officials did not immediately respond to email and phone inquiries about whether the name of the building would be changed.”

As the Times notes: “Cosby has never been charged with a crime and has repeatedly denied the accusations of sexual assault.”