Thirty-five of Bill Cosby’s accusers appear on the cover of New York magazine this week as part of an expansive feature on the sexual assault allegations against the 78-year-old comedian. “I’m no longer afraid,” Chelan Lasha, who claimed Cosby assaulted her when she was 17, told the magazine. “I feel more powerful than him.”
So far, 46 women have come forward to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault, in some cases, according to a recently unsealed deposition, with the 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. Read more: nymag.com/cosby-women. 📷: Amanda Demme
The cover comes one week after a deposition of Cosby taken during a sexual assault lawsuit from 2005 was published by the New York Times. In the court documents, Cosby admitted to giving the plaintiff, Andrea Constand, one and a half tablets of Benadryl to relieve stress. According to Cosby, the sexual contact they had was consensual.
“I walk her out. She does not look angry. 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.”
Read the full story over at New York.