The show must go on.
Well, we finally have our answer.
Read the emotional statement (below):
[Image via E!.]
This just breaks our heart.
Charlotte Waters, a young woman who modeled for Terry Richardson, has mustered up the courage to share the extremely personal and traumatizing experience she claims she had with the celebrity photographer at age 19.
According to her account, she was completely taken advantage of and left helpless and stunned after a single photo shoot. Due to her episode with Terry, she never modeled nude again.
Many find it shocking that the fashion industry continually employs a photographer with a reputation as revolting as Richardson’s. They also find it even more shocking that so many celebrities seem to endorse him.
"I originally posted about this in the AMA subreddit and someone directed me here as a better platform to share my experience.
Over the past few weeks I have seen several negative articles posted and shared from my friends about Terry Richardson and because these are real life acquaintances I'm not totally comfortable (yet) saying "hey, I experienced this first hand and these are not just rumors" and admitting to a naive past in which I was impressionable and taken advantage of… but 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.
So here is the full story (there is strong sexual content in this and could be a possible trigger):
When I was 19 and going to art school in NY I thought it would be fun to do nude "art" modeling on the side for money. I thought hey I am comfortable with my body and a creative, open minded person so this is a great idea, right?! So, for several months I was doing this for pay through model mayhem at first and then through different connections. My experiences were overall great, I was always comfortable and never felt like I was being taken advantage of or in danger. I was never touched or made to feel like I had to do something out of my comfort zone. In fact, I was having a lot of fun with this and actually got a friend of mine to start doing it as well. This is all until I modeled for Terry Richardson, which is the last time I've nude modeled.
I knew of Terry Richardson and I liked his aesthetic (at the time) but I didn't know anything about him or his reputation. I saw his website one day and noticed that you could submit to model, so I did. I got a response (I'm assuming from his assistant) pretty quickly and thought cool! He's a well known photographer this will only help me get more work, you know? So a time was set up and I went and this is how it went and down…
It was a Saturday early evening, I went to his studio in Soho. When I got there his assistant let me in and I met him. He was very smiley and his studio was just a big studio apartment type set up. We sat at his kitchen table, me, him, and his assistant. His assistant was probably like 40-45, dark hair, some work done on her face. We sat at the table and they were super casual, she was ordering food and asked if I wanted any I declined (I legitimately had a stomach infection building and went to the hospital that night but that's another story). I remember he got this like lemon garlic pasta and thinking that sounded really good. So he ate, she ate I drank tea and he was doing something on his computer and she had me sign the model release forms. I don't remember what they said, definitely not anything specific about what he would want to do though, I had signed several of these before and it looked the same. Eventually we got up to take pictures and he had me stand against the blank white wall in the middle of the apartment. 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 minutes but was probably only 30 seconds… Finally, they backed off and were still acting like everything was totally fun and normal and upbeat or whatever and I think I was visibly in shock. I am a quiet person and I was definitely quiet in that moment and that's when he asked if I had a boyfriend. I said yes and he started overly sweetly apologizing and so did his assistant. And he 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. I said it was fine that it didn't matter and he wouldn't care its ok (I don't know why, obviously he would and did care. He knew I was nude modeling but nothing like this). Then I guess I cleaned up and got dressed and I don't even remember saying bye or what happened as far as leaving the studio/apartment but his assistant wanted to come with me and paid for a cab and rode halfway with me and sort of comforted me I guess? She was giving me weird advice on how everything we did was ok and how I am clearly a strong girl but i wasn't even asking for advice. Then she left at her destination and I went home. I told my roommate that night about it in disbelief. I still had that stomach infection going on and it got extremely bad that night and I ended up being taken to the hospital in an ambulance, looking back I am almost 100% sure this was more panic attack induced than the stomach infection alone.
I got a voicemail a couple weeks after from his assistant asking me to grow out my pubic hair and join her, him, and three girls my age on a shooting/camping trip. I did not respond."
Wow. If everything she states is true, we can't even begin to imagine the horrors others may have felt during their time with Terry.
And we can't even imagine the amount of courage it took for Charlotte to come out with her story.
Do U think Terry Richardson deserves to have a job when stories of encounters like this pop up regularly???
[Image via WENN.]