With over a decade of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour allegations made towards him, why is Terry Richardson still one of the most sought after photographers in the world of fashion and art? He has lost his position at Vogue after model Emma Appleton revealed he sent her a message offering her a shoot in exchange for sex, he has had supermodels such as Coco Rocha state they felt so uncomfortable in a shoot with him that they would not work with him again, and now with all the media attention questioning his conduct, even more models are coming forward with allegations against him!
Model Sena Cech is one of the young girls to make claims of sexual impropriety against Richardson. She said that she was not warned prior to her shoot that she would have to pose nude or engage in sexual activity during her casting. Richardson reportedly undressed and pushed his penis at her during a shoot, whilst telling her to “twist and squeeze it really hard.” Cech stated that it went beyond an artistic edge, and that she felt humiliated and cried hysterically on returning home. She also denies allegations that she instigated it, being only 19 at the time.
Cech believes her rights were violated, and that his behaviour progresses towards sexual harassment and abuse of young, innocent girls. Although he denies all the accusations, the amount racked up against him suggests otherwise, particularly as some of the accusations come from high-profile celebrities as well as the younger, more anonymous models.
Charlotte Waters, also 19 at the time of her shoot with Richardson, also recently came forward to tell her story of how during work he licked her nude body, coaxed her into squeezing his testicles and ejaculated in her eye, all the while his female assistant watching. She said that she became passive because she believed he could end her career – a declaration made by many young girls who have been manipulated by Richardson.
A New York writer and stylist named Anna was another girl to come forward with a horror-story when working with Richardson. The photographer previously claimed misconduct could never take place during work because he was never alone with the girls, however similarly to Waters, Anna told reporters how his assistant was in the room at the time when he pushed his penis against her mouth, and that she merely giggled.
She described how she had been invited to do a shoot with Richardson, and that when she arrived she was asked to show her boobs and crouch down. On doing this, she felt his penis pressed against her face and then her mouth. She stated that she did not want to show that she was scared or angry, because she was alone with the pair and didn’t know what could happen. When asked why she had not come forward, she said that she did not think anyone would believe her without sufficient proof, or even care because she was a “non-model.” She added that she believes Richardson should be in jail, never mind the world of fashion.
Richardson maintains that there are never any drugs or alcohol at the shoots, and that it is merely a time for people to explore and contribute to sexuality and taking pictures. However, with the internet crawling with allegations made against him, his denial looks far from believable. If you have been victimised by sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour at work, contact a solicitor for advice on where to go next.