In a long profile in New York Magazine, fashion photographer Terry Richardson addressed accusations that have been leveled against him about some of his more controversial work.
Richardson has denied accusations of sexual harassment on his website and in an essay in The Huffington Post, and he provides some additional insight to New York Magazine on what he calls “internet gossip.”
Models — some of whom were teenagers when Richardson shot them — have accused him of using his status and power to manipulate young women who want to impress the big-name photographer. Several models have described shoots in which Richardson pressured them into performing sexual acts, saying they didn’t agree to or expect that before walking into the studio.
Richardson is known for his provocative and sexually explicit photographs, and he maintains that he doesn’t ask models to do anything they feel uncomfortable with.
Richardson told New York Magazine:
“I don’t have any regrets about the work at all, but obviously I don’t ever want someone to feel like that. It was never my intention. But also, people do things, and then they have regrets, and that’s also nothing to do with me. Then don’t do pictures like that again … I’m ok with myself about everything, and that to me is the most important thing.”
Others who work with Richardson suggested in the profile that the models might look back on the pictures with regret and then blame Richardson, insisting that he took advantage of them.
A photography agent made this counter-point to Richardson’s denials, noting that celebrities like Kate Moss and Miley Cyrus aren’t asked to do sexually explicit things on camera:
“These other girls, the 19-year-old girl from Whereverville, should be the one to say, ‘I don’t think this is a good idea’? These girls are told by agents how important he is, and then they show up and it’s a bait and switch. This guy and his friends are literally like, ‘Grab my boner.’ Is this girl going to say no? And go back to the village? That’s not a real choice. It’s a false choice.”
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