August 18, 1997 12:00 PM

GIANNI VERSACE

The murder of Gianni Versace is so incomprehensible to me, it’s difficult to put into words. I take joy in knowing that Andrew Cunanan is burning in hell as we speak.

MARY CLARK, Santa Maria, Calif.

I applaud PEOPLE for honoring Gianni Versace on its cover instead of focusing on Andrew Cunanan.

NATALIA KUTYNSKY, Lincolnwood, Ill.

This murder could have been avoided by alerting South Beach [Fla.] residents during the crucial period when Andrew Cunanan was seen roaming around. It seems incomprehensible that he was allowed to be in that area for nearly two months while he was being sought for four other heartless crimes.

BATYA-FREYA KAPLAN, Boston

BILL COSBY

Even if Bill Cosby is Autumn Jackson’s father, there is nothing of his that is “rightfully hers,” as her mother says. She is a 22-year-old adult who wants to live high on the hog without paying the butcher. Autumn, go to work.

TERRI J. JENKINS, Hartville, Ohio

Autumn Jackson’s story sounds like Fatal Attraction by Proxy! It is really too bad that Shawn Upshaw passed her obsession with Bill Cosby on to her daughter. I feel sorry for Autumn and even sorrier for Mr. Cosby, who has to deal with such a terrible thing while still grieving for his son.

LAURA LUTHER, Olney, Md.

Anyone can see that Autumn Jackson looks just like Jerald Jackson, who says he is her father. She doesn’t look anything like Bill Cosby. She is a greedy person aided by a greedy mother. I hope she gets what she deserves!

K. TOLEN, San Diego

Four months ago I spent $75 for my family to sit in the nosebleed section to see Bill Cosby in concert. Now I wish I had the money back to send to assist Autumn Jackson with her legal fees. Mr. Cosby, this young woman and her mother are not your problem; dishonesty and self-righteousness are. If you’d taken that blood test 22 years ago and stood up like a man, none of this would have happened. You’d have either been completely shed of them, legally, or had the opportunity to give this child the kind of life your other children have enjoyed. You are the one who should be punished, for perpetrating a sham on your admirers and fans. You shamelessly paraded yourself as the quintessential good guy and family man. I want my $75 back.

PAMELA HILL, Pittsburgh

HEIDI GUENTHER

Like Heidi Guenther, I am a 22-year-old, 5’3″ female. I am truly appalled (but not surprised) by the attitudes of the ballet directors Heidi Guenther worked under. To say that at 115 pounds Guenther had gotten “a little pudgy” truly shows their distorted perspective of a slender female body. Young, impressionable ballerinas should never be encouraged to reach such unnatural expectations.

SHARON REJAI, Virginia Beach, Va.

It’s so common in the dance world for instructors—far from perfect themselves—to convince young dancers they’d be more aesthetically acceptable minus 10 or 20 pounds. (Hence, Anna-Marie Holmes’s pathetic comment on “girls’ butts going up and down” in an “unattractive” manner.) When a girl hears this, along with the thousand other messages she receives about being thin and pretty and perfect, she believes it. So much so that she’ll stop at nothing to be the thinnest, the lightest, the prettiest—against all logic and reason.

ALEXANDRA MANIAS, Buffalo

I have been a dancer professionally and a teacher for 21 years. I have worked with anorexic dancers and even suffered from bulimia myself. We are constantly striving for perfection in body and form. Nine years ago I became an exotic dancer, where a fuller, more voluptuous figure is admired and praised. It may not be as artistic, but the money’s better, and I’d much rather have a boob job than a heart attack.

NAME WITHHELD, Costa Mesa, Calif.

RUPERT EVERETT

Screenwriter Rod Lurie is quoted as saying, “Uncle Joe in Des Moines is not going to sit and watch a gay guy make love to Kim Basinger.” Who cares about Uncle Joe? Come on, just look at that picture of Rupert Everett with his dog. I would watch him any day, in any movie, doing anything, including romancing a woman. Who cares if he is gay? He’s gorgeous, brilliant and hilariously funny. How many times do you find that in a man? And for the record, Uncle Joe in Des Moines has been watching numerous gay actors romancing women for years without even knowing it.

P.T. CREIGHTON, Santa Monica

STAR TRACKS

Ivanka Trump is 15 years old. Shame on you, Donald and Ivana, for letting her look as if she belongs on a street corner while she “prowled the runway” at a recent fashion show in Paris.

JADE HENDERSHOT, Middlesex, N.J.

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