After the allegations made against him in the past couple of weeks, it is rather unsurprising that fashion photographer Terry Richardson would be upset by the rumours flying around the fashion circuit currently. Hitting back against claims made by models Rie Rasmussen and Jamie Peck, Richardson addressed the issue on his blog on Saturday.
"I just want to take a moment to say I’m really hurt by the recent and false allegations of insensitivity and misconduct. I feel fortunate to work with so many extraordinary people each and every day. I’ve always been considerate and respectful of the people I photograph and I view what I do as a real collaboration between myself and the people in front of the camera. To everyone who has embraced and supported me and my work, I am so grateful. Thank you, it means a lot. Terry"
The American photographer made the comment on his blog, Terry's Diary, despite his New York office refusing to comment on the revelations. As Fashionista pointed out, photographs of Richardson "grabbing models breasts and posing with his thumb up and a grin next to bare asses" were removed from his blog as the statement went up. As the saga continues, it will be interesting to see how his next shoot pans out...
When Jezebel's Jenna Sauers opened her email inbox to anyone with a sexual abuse allegation against Terry Richardson, she might not have expected the flood of stories she got. Although Richardson claims his innocence ("I don't like to exploit anybody. That's not my bag. Everyone has fun on my shoots."), an increasing number of members from all levels of the fashion industry are coming forward to say they've felt violated by the photographer, or that they know someone who has.
We had no idea where to start here, so consider these stories. First, a report from a woman who modelled in London in the late '90s: "I was booked on a Terry Richardson job for Arena Homme Plus. The shoot was at an amusement park, and I would estimate that there were 30 models in total [...] and we were told that all of us would be given an opportunity to shoot a cover try. Being familiar with Mr. Richardson's.....peccadillos, many of the models were eager to please; pleasing in this instance consisted primarily of pulling down pants, pulling up skirts, losing blouses, and a bit of finger sucking thrown in for good measure. It seemed painfully clear to me that the phantom lure of a cover try was sufficient reason for a handful of young women with waning career prospects to humiliate themselves in front of each other while Terry Richardson giggled, panted, said 'That's hot,' and pushed them further. During lunch, I approached him and asked him if he had any moral quandaries about exploiting the sad dreams of models who hadn't yet made it and probably never would. I asked him if he realized that they were enacting what they believed were his expectations and fantasies in order to gain his favor and hence gain a cover or a future booking. 'I don't really think about that stuff,' he told me. 'I guess you're smarter than me.'"
Just four days ago, model Rie Rasmussen spoke openly of her disdain for fashion photographer Terry Richardson, branding his work "completely degrading to women". The outburst continued at a party where Rasmussen voiced her opinions directly to Richardson, resulting in him walking out. "It was the most cowardly thing I have ever seen", she concluded.
Adding to the humiliation, Jamie Peck has come forward about her experience with Richardson, and whilst Peck admits that she's "not a model, just a vain girl with nice tits who likes to pose for the occasional cheesecake photo", and yet despite being experienced in 'au naturel', wrote "He's the only one who’s left me feeling like I needed to take two showers." Her post for The Gloss continues to describe her time on a shoot with the famous photographer, who asked her to call him Uncle Terry and reportedly got her to perform sexual favours, before offering a signed photograph as payment.
"Before I could say “whoa, whoa, whoa!” dude was wearing only his tattoos and waggling the biggest dick I’d ever seen dangerously close to my unclothed person (granted, I hadn’t seen very many yet). “Why don’t you take some pictures of me?” he asked. Um, sure." Unbeknown to Peck, the photographs from the shoot wound up in Purple magazine, which is edited by Richardson's associate, Olivier Zahm. With The Cut making comparisons between the photographer and the recent Tiger Woods revelations, we wonder how many more models will be coming out of the woodworks with their sordid experiences...