Noted creep Terry Richardson’s status as an icon in the fashion world is pretty baffling – trying to explain it would be like trying to think of a new colour or describe the taste of water.
Especially after yet another young model has come forward with her account of working with ‘Uncle Terry’ – a nickname that doesn’t help his sleazeball reputation – and if it doesn’t leave you with an itch to snap those stupid glasses in half then quite frankly, you’re colder than Christmas at Woody Allen’s house.
It’s never been a secret that Terry’s a one-trick pony when it comes to his photography career – he’s the man to call if you want your magazine shoot to feature a high-contrast photo of some ‘edgy’ celebrity’s wedgie. I challenge you to look at his shoot with Miley Cyrus and not feel your eyes water in sympathy.
But unfortunately, Richardson obviously feels that his ability to point a camera at a nearly-naked girl in front of a white backdrop gives him permission to allegedly harass and assault young models looking to make a name for themselves in the fashion industry.
Charlotte Waters, who was a nineteen year old art student at the time, posted her stomach-turning story on Reddit and described how she turned up at Richardson’s SoHo studio expecting your average nude shoot and walked away with a panic attack that contributed to a hospital stay. The full story is out there on the web, but let’s cut to the controversy. Explicit sexual content to follow, obviously.
“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 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 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 minutes but was probably only 30 seconds…”
This isn’t the first time that Richardson’s been called out for being a dirty old man: he’s been accused of asking to make tea from a girl’s bloody tampon (seriously), models have said he calls them prudes unless they go down on him, and getting girls so drunk at parties that they don’t know what they are agreeing for him to photograph.
Even after all of this, Hollywood’s darlings are still lining up to be shot by him. Lupita Nyong’o, Kate Moss, Lea Michele, and Lady Gaga to name but a few, and those are still just the people he’s shot this week.
Thankfully a few people in the industry seemed to have their head screwed on right, and over 25,000 people have signed the ‘Big Brands: Stop using alleged sex offender & pornographic Terry Richardson as your photographer’ petition on Change.org. Not that those online petitions ever have much of an impact because the tragic truth is that the more scandalous the photos are, the more people are going to talk about your brand.
We can live in hope that more girls will get sick of this guy’s bullshit and come forward with their stories – the worse his reputation becomes, fewer celebrities will want to put on those awful fake glasses, and the closer he’ll get to being forced to shoot graduation portraits and engagement announcements.
Hopefully those won’t involve as much camel toe.