Thirty-five women who have accused comedian Bill Cosby of rape were shown on the cover of the July 27 edition of New York Magazine, which featured them for its main story entitled "'I'm No Longer Afraid': 35 Women Tell Their Stories About Being Assaulted by Bill Cosby, and the Culture That Wouldn't Listen."
All of the women were shown sitting up straight in chairs with their hands on their laps. The photos were in black and white print. The magazine's featured story dealt with the sexual assault allegations the women individually hurled at the 78-year-old actor.
Forty-six women actually came out to accuse Cosby of rape, but only 35 women agreed to have their photos taken for the magazine and be interviewed.
Cosby has denied all rape allegations against him.
Last July 22, the comedian suffered a setback after California's Supreme Court denied his petition to review the case filed by Judy Huth, one of his accusers, who accused Cosby of sexually abusing her when she was still a 15-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1974.
Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said the court decision cleared the way for litigation to proceed, adding that she intends to use Cosby's sworn deposition in a lawsuit Cosby settled in 2006.
Included in the testimony was Cosby's admission under oath that he had obtained Quaaludes, the brand name for a sedative widely in the 1970s, with the intent of giving the pills to young women in order to have sex with them.
In the featured story of the July 27 issue of New York Magazine, the 35 women separately shared their own story of how Cosby used his fame and connections to woo them. Thinking they were safe in his company, the women said they drank whatever drink Cosby provided them, only to realise later that they had been drugged.
"My agent said we've been contacted by a really, really big person in the entertainment industry who's interested in mentoring promising young talent. I find out it's Bill Cosby. I had the understanding I was going to be receiving private acting coaching from him. This was the opportunity of a lifetime," recalled Heidi Thomas.
She got to Cosby's place and they tried acting some scenes, and the comedian handed her a drink. It caused Thomas to lose consciousness, and when she woke up, she was already being sexually assaulted by Cosby.
Kathy McKee, on the other hand, had known Bill and his wife for several years so she considered him as a friend. When he made a pass at her, she was really shocked. "I just couldn't understand what was wrong with him. Had he lost his mind? When I came out of the bathroom, he said to me, 'Okay, come on, let's go. They're waiting for us.' He was behaving like a person that I had never met before in my life."
When the women tried sharing their experiences with other people, they were told to "shut up" because no one believed them. For a while, these women did, but now they said they do not want to hide in the dark any longer.