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Terry Richardson Fights Back!! Calls Latest Allegations A "Witch Hunt" - Do You Believe Him?

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Terry Richardson finally breaks his silence and defends his actions!

Terry Richardson is finally speaking out!

The celebrity photographer has endured countless accusations of sexual assaults over the years, but he’s never really addressed them until now.

Apparently Charlotte Waters' recent and harrowing tale was enough for him to break his silence!

Amidst the tsunami of reports, Terry took action and wrote an open letter, saying:

"I chose to primarily ignore a cycle of Internet gossip and false accusations against me [years ago]. . . I felt that to dignify them with a response was a betrayal of my work and my character. When these allegations resurfaced over the past few months, they seemed especially vicious and distorted . . . becoming nothing more than an emotionally-charged witch hunt. People have become comfortable concocting hate-filled and libelous tales . . . In writing this, I make a humble attempt at correcting these rumors. I collaborated with consenting adult women who were fully aware of the nature of the work, and as is typical with any project, everyone signed releases . . . I have never used an offer of work or a threat of rebuke to coerce someone into something that they did not want to do. I give everyone that I work with enough respect to view them as having ownership of their free will and making their decisions accordingly.”

Interesting.

So basically, he’s not denying the stories of Charlotte or any other models. Instead, he says his release forms make everything kosher.

He also asserts that no model was doing anything she didn’t want to do…but if he never asked them during his process, as Charlotte describes, how would he know?

Is this really a “witch hunt” or is Terry just trying to save face??

UPDATE: Terry has released a full statement, saying:

"Four years ago, I chose to primarily ignore a cycle of Internet gossip and false accusations against me. At that time, I felt that to dignify them with a response was a betrayal of my work and my character. When these allegations resurfaced over the past few months, they seemed especially vicious and distorted, moving outside the realm of critical dialogue and becoming nothing more than an emotionally-charged witch hunt. Enabled and protected by the freewheeling and often times anonymous nature of the Internet, people have become comfortable concocting hate-filled and libelous tales about my professional and personal lives. In writing this, I make a humble attempt at correcting these rumors, because I have come to realize that absent my voice in the conversation, all that remain are the lies.

When I moved to New York in 1990 to take pictures, a lot of my work was a documentation of my life in the East Village; it was gritty, transgressive, and the aesthetic broke with the well-lit, polished fashion images of the time. My first big campaign, shot in 1994, was a provocative picture of a couple embracing in a bar. It was a shocking image for its time and the first instance a photograph of this nature was used in a major fashion advertisement.

Like Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, and so many others before me, sexual imagery has always been a part of my photography. Ten years ago, in 2004, I presented some of this work at a gallery show in New York City, accompanied by a book of the photos. The show was very popular and highly praised. The images depicted sexual situations and explored the beauty, rawness, and humor that sexuality entails. I collaborated with consenting adult women who were fully aware of the nature of the work, and as is typical with any project, everyone signed releases. I have never used an offer of work or a threat of rebuke to coerce someone into something that they did not want to do. I give everyone that I work with enough respect to view them as having ownership of their free will and making their decisions accordingly, and as such, it has been difficult to see myself as a target of revisionist history. Sadly, in the on-going quest for controversy-generated page views, sloppy journalism fueled by sensationalized, malicious, and manipulative recountings of this work has given rise to angry Internet crusades. Well-intentioned or not, they are based on lies. Believing such rumors at face value does a disservice not only to the spirit of artistic endeavor, but most importantly, to the real victims of exploitation and abuse.

People will always have strong opinions about challenging images, and the dichotomy of sex is that it is both the most natural and universal of human behaviors and also one of the most sensitive and divisive. Over the course of my career, I have come to accept that some of my more provocative work courts controversy, and as an artist, I value the discourse that arises from this. I can only hope for this discourse to be informed by fact, so that whether you love my work or hate it, you give it, and me, the benefit of the truth."

Do his words change your mind concerning his alleged actions?

[Image via Terry Richardson.]

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21 comments to “Terry Richardson Fights Back!! Calls Latest Allegations A "Witch Hunt" - Do You Believe Him?”



  1. 1

    I LOVE his horribly-written response. His "they signed the release form so I can do whatever I want" defense proves what a asshole he is.



  2. 2

    Did he cut and paste from Woody Allen's letter?



  3. 3

    Douche.



  4. 4

    He didn't deny a thing. He simply stated everything that was done was done by consenting individuals. So in essence he's not denying a thing…



  5. 5

    Re: cocobongo – He is ignoring the difference between consent and coercion. He is in a position of authority, and he is taking advantage of that. It is the same as sexual harassment in the workplace.

  6. styler says – reply to this


    6

    Both accusers sound like Borderline Personalities looking for money…..Go to the police instead of the media then…

  7. styler says – reply to this


    7

    Just more of the "New Stalker Feminism"….

  8. Default Setting says – reply to this


    8

    No, I don't believe him. I've sent some time researching mr. It's not who you know it's who you blow richardson. I've seen models going down on him, screwing a sheep, degrading sexual content work. He's lower than the lowest low and ANYBODY who works with him, knows it, accepts it and is complacent with the victimization of themselves and others. It's time more victims speak out and it's time that we are reminded not of Obama grinning but of him having Lindsay Lohan hold a gun to her head and other stink he has done. I know some of you don't like Lohan but this is just another example of victimization of women.

  9. JC says – reply to this


    9

    There's no smoke without fire.

  10. jil says – reply to this


    10

    She's just doing this for money and attention. Not Terry Richardson! Not one eyewitness has come forward about these "allegations"…just kidding. I love how hypocritical people are though. to quote Seth Rogan "all jokes aside" Terry Richardson is a "piece of shit".

  11. @v@ says – reply to this


    11

    Yeah, sure. Maybe stick to strictly the photography buddy. The wings have been clipped.

  12. LL says – reply to this


    12

    Google photos of him … many explicit pictures of him with models show up and many of them are similar to the situations that the girls have come out to talk about. He is a pig.



  13. 13

    c'mon…if someone "licked my ass" and I didn't want them to, they would get a swift kick and I'd be out of there. Was she held against her will? Was she drugged? No. She chose to be there of her own free will and she (and all the accusers) could have chose to leave. did he do these things? Probably. But not saying, "stop" "don't touch me" or leaving implies consent.



  14. 14

    Re: rosebud99 – Was he paying these models? I was under the impression they were modeling for free for the "honor" of being shot by him.

  15. Strangeasitmay says – reply to this


    15

    His version of events may be essentially correct, but there still isnt much doubt that he took advantage of the situation with unknown models, who didnt have a support group on hand to make sure they told him NO! I'm also sure he behaved differently with celebrities who travel around with a team of people. The guy is dirty.

  16. Ania says – reply to this


    16

    I think he is a PERV just by looking at him. I find it really sad that "celebrities" still do business with him. I don't believe him. He is an old DBAG that takes advantage of young women. SICKO

  17. jil says – reply to this


    17

    Re: Miss Kitty – People like you make me sick.What are you not getting laid enough that you have to go around defending sexual harassment?? Shes not saying she was molested Shes saying that she was sexually harassed. It's a photoshoot. It's supposed to be a professional setting. Do i need to define sexual harassment for you? Not every girl knows how to defend themselves when they're being taken advantage of. My impression is that she was afraid to speak up.

  18. blueness says – reply to this


    18

    This creep has his power because the industry hands it to him. A simple click of his name here to find a sampling of hollywood elite who support him by working with him. Magazines and sites like this continue to publish his work and support him.



  19. 19

    THERE IS NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE

  20. chillax62 says – reply to this


    20

    Re: Miss Kitty – Wow… just wow…. So you think this attitude is normal… that sexual harassment does not count? Sweet Jesus.

  21. klm390 says – reply to this


    21

    Re: Miss Kitty – Um, there is no such thing as "implied consent." This was straight up sexual harassment because he didn't even clarify any of the things he would be doing before the shoot started. The girl who came out about this never even stated that, and she took responsibility for allowing him to do it. He's an asshole for taking advantage of a young model and attempting to with an underage one.