Send the kids to the other room because pretty much everything you're about to read will be offensive in one way or another. Whether it be the details of the latest accusation of sexual misconduct against Terry Richardson or the venom I spew in his direction as a result of it, there's gonna be a lot of deplorable language.
Let me start by saying that Terry Richardson is an inexplicably rich and in-demand fashion photographer, so obviously he couldn't give less of a shit about what some nobody columnist like me thinks of him. I say he's inexplicably rich and in-demand because his work seems to consist almost entirely of people standing against white walls and photographed in harsh light, occasionally with relatively cheap point-and-shoot cameras. But then the more you know about Richardson the more you understand that actually taking pictures is incidental at his shoots, certainly compared to Richardson figuring out how to get off with, in, or on the generally young, attractive female subjects he's photographing. In the past he's been accused of manipulating young models into compromising positions then photographing them, and by compromising positions I mean basically naked and going down on him or otherwise being defiled by his loathsome ass. To him it's no big deal because he claims he's not breaking the law, only having "fun" with his models.
He's essentially a sexual predator with a camera, but since people keep hiring him and models keep posing for him -- up to and including Miley Cyrus, who contracted him to direct her Wrecking Ball video -- unless you're Olivia Benson, what can you do? Well, one model, a young woman who's now a 24-year-old nurse's assistant living in L.A., is at least trying to do something. In a startlingly candid interview with Vocativ, Charlotte Waters is describing in detail everything that she says happened during her one and only photo shoot with Richardson, five years ago in New York City. She posted the account on Reddit anonymously last week, but now she's going public.
Gird your loins, things are about to get very ugly. You've been warned.
The first thing he did was take a photo of me with my ID to prove I was over 18. And then we started shooting, and he reached out and put his hand on my face...
Eventually all my clothes were off, and he’s still taking pictures. Then he comes over and asks me to hold the top of his jeans while he takes pictures pointing down. At this moment, things were starting to go in a direction that wasn’t good, but for some reason, I still had a lot of trust in whatever he told me to do, so I just did it. But then he had me unbutton his pants, and he took his penis out...
Well his penis is out, and he starts taking pictures of me holding it. And then we moved over to a couch, and he had me pose on it with my back to him, and I literally felt him come over and start licking my ass. In my head I was like, Oh my God, what’s happening? He was just licking away, and his assistant came over and started taking pictures with this little point-and-shoot camera.
He told me to perform oral sex on him. He started aggressively kissing me. I don’t even really remember what specific things were happening at that point, but he was directing everything. Like, “OK squeeze my balls,” “OK, put my dick in your mouth,” “OK, now kiss me.” It wasn’t intimate. He also straddled me and started jerking off on my face.
He told me to keep my eyes open super wide. His assistant was standing right there too, and his cum got in my eyes. This was actually his favorite moment. He got so excited. He kept telling me to keep my eyes open, and he grabbed his camera, and his assistant had her little point-and-shoot, and they were just taking all these pictures of it. Then they finally backed off and one of them got me a towel and told me to wipe myself off...
I was just sitting on the couch, and I was very quiet. I was in shock and utter disbelief.
If the story Waters is telling is true, then what she's describing is sexual assault, isn't it? Can it really be anything else? It's one thing to show up for a photo shoot and know that you're going to be asked to pose nude -- Waters had apparently done so already with at least two other professional photographers and she says the shoots were, well, professional -- but it's another thing entirely to have some asshole jerk off onto your face while he takes pictures of it. Sure, some will argue that maybe she should've fully understood Richardson's reputation and therefore what she was in for. She calls herself naive and "a rapist's dream." But correct me if I'm wrong -- don't people who say that kind of thing as a defense of sexual assault usually get rightly pilloried? What the fuck makes Richardson special, the fact that he's got a Panasonic Lumix in the hand he's not using to stroke himself? You can't say to someone, "Well, you know how your creepy uncle is," and have it be okay. And that's what Terry Richardson is -- the creepy uncle of the photography world.
Seriously, why is anyone still providing cover for this piece of shit?
More to the point, why isn't this piece of shit in prison right now?