He may be the fashion world’s crown jewel as he snatches campaign after campaign, but there’s something untoward about the way Terry Richardson goes about his business that ought to leave us concerned.
According to one former unnamed model, the photographer acted inappropriately towards her during a shoot some five years ago. Why it took her so long to get her story out remains a mystery (save for the notion of the stigma often associated with leery tales of sexual misconduct at the hands of the victim) but that nevertheless didn’t stop the model from going on reddit the other day to recount her tale. A tale that follows that of other model’s tales of being sexually pounced upon by the photographer.
Tells the then 19 year old model at the time:
I feel like it is extremely important for me to share my experience for the sake of other young women out there so I’m starting here. I want to not only warn against making the same mistake I did but possibly open up the dialogue about how/and why this sort of thing can happen so easily. Let me preface this by saying I am fully aware that this was bad decision making on my part and that the true purpose of me sharing this is I want people to know what is possible in these situations and that you as a human being are 100% allowed to say no to something you are uncomfortable with and I wish I had the strength to then.
Excited and giddy that she would be working with famed photographer, Terry Richardson the model set about posing for the photographer when she began to notice a series of fucked up things happening around her, from him and towards her that left her shattered. So shattered one supposes that the model only found the courage to speak about it now.
I stood there and he started taking pics, assistant off to the side. Then he came up and took pictures POV style with his hand on my face. Then he put his thumb in my mouth, I actually thought this was funny in the moment and he and his assistant were very upbeat and just light heartedly directing me. Then he stepped back at some point and had me start removing my clothes (I knew I would be getting nude, so this was not weird to me). I remember he had me take stuff off in stages, he complimented a lot, his assistant too. Definitely the usual trying to make the barely legal model feel special kind of thing looking back. I honestly do not remember if the sexual stuff started by the wall or when he moved me to the couch area but at some point I was being directed to do things like hold the top of his pants while he took more POV style pictures, then eventually unbutton his pants and then his penis was out. Meanwhile it felt like it was all just happening and there was no time to step back and be like “woah this is out of hand”. I dont think anyone who knows me would describe me as a particularly aggressive person (and definitely wasn’t at 19) and the only way I can describe how I felt was nervous and paralyzed. At some point the assistant started taking pictures too with a crappy point and shoot camera. He had me posing on the couch and then I had my back to him and just literally felt him start licking my ass, like every part of it, and the assistant was taking pictures the whole time. Things were now completely pornographic and never once initiated by me. He was now on the couch with me and it became sexual act after sexual act, aggressive kissing, random sexual things being done to me and being directed to do everything you can think of back, everything slow so his assistant could photograph. He even directed me to squeeze his balls as hard as I could so that they pushed back up into his body. I did not even know that was possible (At least I learned something about the male anatomy that night?). I was completely a sex puppet at this point.It ended with him jacking off on to my face and he told me to keep my eyes open really wide and his assistant stood over me and it got in my eye and they both began taking pics of it for a what felt like 10 minutesbut was probably only 30 seconds…
Tells jezebel: Richardson then asked if she had a boyfriend. When she said yes, he began “overly sweetly apologizing”:
[H]e said oh I always mean to ask that first I’m so sorry. This was the part that actually bothered me the most because A. I think what had just happened was hitting me and B. it felt so fake and planned and like a slap in the face.
But this is Terry Richardson’s world. He can always be sorry later, knowing full well that he has the power of his reputation, the power of the camera, the desperation of the model who is looking to break into the industry and the cahoota to take it to the next level without shame or remorse. It is after all a joke of sorts. One can always just say sorry or claim artistic license.
Personally I’m not sure why the model didn’t just pack it right there and then and call the cops on Richardson if her story is really legitimate. Ass licking from a photographer? That’s hardly legitimate. Then again sticking around to endure this type of creepy behavior says something about the model too. And maybe that’s what Terry Richardson feeds off, pushing and trying and playing and teasing, seeing how far he can go with the models and the fashion world who to date continue to work with him unabashedly.
To be fair to Terry Richardson, whose work I greatly admire, this could all be a bunch of trollop, but maybe it’s just not, maybe this is indicative of a nasty pattern within the fashion industry where photographers take liberties of young naive desperate models, conflicted about their beauty, sexuality and their desire just to put up with hanky panky cause that’s what goes on in the fashion world, like it or not. And of course it will continue to go on until fashion editors, brands and consumers take note and begin asking questions.
above image found here