Bill Cosby Assembles “A Sorrowful Sisterhood”
In 1988, The Cosby family donated $20 million to the Spelman College in Atlanta, and the professorship was named after Bill Cosby and his wife Camille.
But in 2014, the women’s college provisionally suspended the position, when the allegations against The Cosby Show star first emerged, and now they are returning what is left of the fund.
Cosby has been under fire in recent months as dozens of women went public with decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct and rape.
Now those 35 women have posed for a powerful photo shoot and essay series titled Cosby: The Women, An Unwelcome Sisterhood.
On the black-and-white cover, each woman sits in a chair, staring straight at the camera. Each reported victim also has an additional portrait and an accompanying article detailing their thoughts on the scandal, and painful memories. The New York Magazine posted the link to this months issue on their Twitter.
The magazine also took to Instagram to share the cover photo with an influential caption.
“So far, 46 women have come forward to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault, in some cases, according to a recently unsealed deposition, with aid of quaaludes – a powerful sedative that can render a person functionally immobile. 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. 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. And that’s led us here. Of the 46 women who have come forward to accuse Cosby, we spoke to 35 of them – “a sorrowful sisterhood” of women united by their dark experiences, steadfast in their resolve to remain silent no more.”
Janice Dickinson’s essay recounted her previous statements, in which she alleged Cosby took advantage of her when she was 28 years old in 1982, and similarly, Johnson’s entry also recalled her encounter with Cosby, in which he allegedly drugged her during a meeting about her aspiring acting career.
NYMag posted her clip on their Instagram today, July 27, 2015.
Janice Dickinson, 60, a model, was allegedly assaulted by Bill Cosby in 1982. Cosby invited then-28-year-old Dickinson to Lake Tahoe, saying he had a possible acting opportunity for her. They dined together, and he gave her a pill to take with a glass of wine. “I woke up the next morning, after the incident, with my entire life altered forever, knowing that Bill Cosby had raped me. There was no one there to protect me. I held this inside of my soul for years and years and years. It shouldn’t happen to any person, man, woman, or child. The right thing to do is to tell my story, truthfully, the disgusting and humiliating details, blow by blow, that I can share and hopefully stop this man from ever, ever, ever doing it again.” Tap the photo to hear Janice Dickinson tell her story, and watch her video interview at nymag.com/cosby-women. ?: Amanda Demme of @janicedickinson
Other women’s claims are also akin to Dickinson and Johnson’s, and some open up about how their reported assaults changed the course of their lives.
Writer Sammie Mays, who alleges Cosby attacked her in 1986, says, “When I see a Jell-O pudding, it comes flooding back. Bill Cosby, that encounter, that one time, played a major factor in the direction my life took, toward the dark side.”
Journalist Joan Tashis, who was one of the first to come forward with allegations in 2014, hopes that after this controversy, Cosby’s place in show business history will be marred by his alleged actions.
She tells New York magazine, “I think his legacy is going to be similar to (American footballer) O.J.’s (Simpson) legacy. When you hear O. J. Simpson’s name, you don’t think, ‘Oh, great football player.’ That doesn’t come to mind first.
“I’m thinking it’s not going to be, ‘Oh, great comedian.’ It’s going to be, ‘Oh, serial rapist.’ And that will be our legacy.”
Cosby has denied all the rape allegations and has not been charged with any crime relating to the accusations.
He is currently facing another battle as his legal team fights to stop a judge from allowing unsealed court documents from a 2005 sexual assault case against the comedian to be made public.