Beverly Johnson, pictured in January, talks about her encounters with Bill Cosby in her new memoir “The Face That Changed It All.” (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Beverly Johnson, pictured in January, talks about her encounters with Bill Cosby in her new memoir “The Face That Changed It All.” (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Supermodel Beverly Johnson forgives Bill Cosby

Beverly Johnson has forgiven Bill Cosby.

Although it’s unlikely that the supermodel, 62, will offer that sentiment in person to the disgraced comic whom she accused of drugging her in the mid-1980s, she told “Good Morning America” cohost Amy Robach that if given the opportunity, she would tell him she forgives him.

But she doesn’t want to let him off the hook.

“I’m going to leave that to the Justice Department,” she said when Robach asked her what she thought should happen to Cosby. “I just feel that he’s a lightning rod for a much bigger conversation, and that conversation would be the rape culture in America.”

Though Johnson, the first black model to appear on the cover of Vogue in 1974, says she escaped before drugs rendered her helpless, her December 2014 Vanity Fair article about the incident helped open a floodgate that saw 50 women come forward accusing Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing them, the New York Post’s Page Six reports.

It also encouraged her publisher to put a back a chapter about him that initially had been dropped from her new memoir, “The Face That Changed It All.”

Johnson and friends including Calvin Klein, Annie Leibovitz, Carol Alt, Cheryl Tiegs, Tyra Banks and Diane von Furstenberg celebrated the book at a shindig Wednesday on New York’s Upper East Side, according to the New York Daily News.

COLBERT STARTS STRONG

Taking numbers into account, Stephen Colbert got off to a strong beginning as the new host of CBS’ “The Late Show.”

According to Nielsen, Colbert’s debut episode Tuesday evening found a whopping 6.6 million viewers. That easily topped NBC’s “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (2.9 million) and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (1.7 million), Entertainment Weekly reports.

“The Late Show” was up 203 percent in viewers compared to the same night last year when the show was hosted by David Letterman.

The show, which featured a silly interview with George Clooney, a more substantial exchange with presidential candidate Jeb Bush. a fun gag with CBS honcho Les Moonves and a tribute to Letterman, was received warmly by many national TV critics.

Of course, it’s not surprising that the first episode with a new host taking over an existing franchise should spike. The real test is in months to come.

QUICK TAKES

Nick Gordon denied allegations that he caused Bobbi Kristina Brown’s death and his attorney asked a court to dismiss a lawsuit against him. … Ellen DeGeneres called her stint as an “American Idol” judge “one of the worst decisions” she ever made.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Singer Ashley Monroe of Pistol Annies is 29. … Actor Ryan Phillippe is 41. … Director Guy Ritchie is 47. … Rapper Big Daddy Kane is 47. … Singer-guitarist David Lowery of Cracker is 55. … Director Chris Columbus is 57. … Actress Amy Irving is 62. … TV host Bill O’Reilly is 66. … Singer Jose Feliciano is 70. … Designer Karl Lagerfeld is 82. … Golfer Arnold Palmer is 86.

_ Wire report

Got scoops or Bay Area celebrity gossip? Email scoop@sfexamimer.com.

Beverly JohnsonBill CosbyLate NightStephen Colbert

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