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Current Events

More Models Come Forward To Speak Against Terry Richardson

By Anthony Thurston on October 9th 2013


Terry Richardson is probably one of the most polarizing names in the photographic community. Richardson is known for his basic lighting on a white wall images that leaves many photographers wondering what s the big deal, but he is also known for more serious reasons.

Richardson has a long history of being accused of taking advantage of young and experienced models. Some more models have come forward recently according to a report on Jezebel. Richardson maintains his innocence, saying that “I don’t like to exploit anybody. That’s not my bag. Everyone has fun on my shoots.”

Yet reports continue to fly in about Terry and his reputation for soliciting sexual favors from these models while on the job at shoots. Apparently this last week danish supermodel confronted Richardson on the streets of Paris, and just two days ago another model shared her story with Jezebel about her first experience with Richardson and his “habits”. In an effort to keep this a PG as possible I will leave the graphic descriptions to the Jezebel post, so if you want to get the full story definitely check that out.


The post on Jezebel really stuck a good point with me, and that was why would someone with a reputation like this still get work in the industry? People know he is a scumbag, but because he has friends in high places and has connections people turn a blind eye.  But just for devils advocate’s sake, the other side to that argument is that if what he was allegedly doing was really so bad people wouldn’t really continue to work with him. Sure there are places, W magazine for one, who chose not to work with Richardson – but of all the big hitters  the majority have no issue hiring models to feed the mans appetite for victims.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Is there any doubt in your mind that these stories are true? Do you think its blown out of proportions? Why do big name companies continue to higher a man known for such distasteful work habits? Let us know in a comment below.

[via Jezebel]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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    Please sign my petition against big brands using Terry Richardson as a photographer. It only takes a second!

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  2. Anders C. Madsen

    The way I see it, there are two things that I can’t help wondering about:

    If models know that lambasting Richardson is a pretty sure-fire way to kill yourself in the industry, why bother doing it just for the sake of airtime? And for a model, filing any kind of police report or lawsuit would be meaningless unless you were sure you had witnesses ready to back your statement.

    Given that 1) indicates a severe lack of witnesses ready to back the models, why don’t Richardson sue their collective asses off? If the allegations are untrue, why not take action and put an end to them? Of course he’ll risk being seen as the rich, influential photographer blasting the poor model to smithereens both financially and career-wise, but on the other hand being labeled as a sexual predator is no laughing matter if you are innocent.

    No doubt, this is a serious and very complex matter, but I would really like to see Richardson defend himself more clearly if I am to believe that all allegations against him are indeed untrue – I don’t see what he has to lose by standing up for himself.

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  3. Todd

    I wonder if he was better looking would we see the same amount of complaints. He looks like a pedophile, but that’s just me stereotyping on a surface level. If no police reports or lawsuits were filed it’s just models lamenting that they had to bone their way to the top.

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  4. Curious

    I’m curious which modelling agencies still feed this guy. They should be sued. There are a lot of GWC out there but the vast majority fall quickly from word of mouth. Clearly, Richardson has support from the very people who should be exiling him.

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  5. Mike Padua

    That Jezebel article is approaching being 4 years old. Oh wait…you’re trying to get page views and comments? Mission accomplished!

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  6. Tamd

    Because aside from a select few, models have no power to say no to certain photographers if they want to keep being hired. It’s an industry staffed by megomaniacs, and if Richardson is dodgy but his work is deemed cool, he will still get hired. Really young women are being sent off to do uber-sexualised shoots, and at the same time working within an industry that tells us they are only worth what they look like – not a huge surprise that this type of thing might happen.

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  7. Armand

    This proves time and again that people can get famous through relations and dumb luck and then everyone else will stand in awe and call him a genius. I’m sorry to say guys, but you should think for yourself, not try to defend a photographer because he’s one of our own or something.

    Are the reports real? I’m certain they are. The accusations are made by young and inexperienced models who stand more to lose by coming forward. Remember Jimmy Savile from UK/BBC? He was so famous people were simply not taken seriously and bullied into shutting up.

    In addition, let’s be brutally honest here: he’s a lousy photographer. Yes, the emperor has no clothes. I’m not even going to waste my time explaining why, it should be painfully obvious to anyone not blinded by the fact that someone is a celebrity.

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  8. Brian

    A lot of ‘photographers’ use the business as an avenue for they’re own perverse wanderings. If your ploy is to use your camera to get laid then your as lame as a drunk bar jock. I attempt to maintain as professional demenior when work as I can– which doesn’t mean we can have fun. I’m goofy as hell.
    Also, people get over the grammar bs – your so fuxking high and mighty . If you can’t comment of the topic then Stfu. I’m typing from a iPhone. Think I’m going to go back and proof this shit. Nope! Back to taking pictures for a living.

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  9. Mike

    I just get this uneasy feeling about this guy and I really never took the time to look at his other work. FStoppers just had a post about Terry:

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  10. KC

    To Previous Poster: Does a model have to be established to be credible? Shouldn’t photographers abide by professional standards and THE LAW for everyone? Shouldn’t we (everyone, not just photographers) treat those new to a career with MORE care and provide good guidance and protect them even more so, to insure that they have the best chances to succeed?

    Your comment about “hearsay on unestablished models” is troublesome and discounts what may be the truth just because the ones speaking out haven’t yet succeeded.

    As for me, I think his photos are very poor. If what he does is a “style”, then I’ll gladly stay away from it.

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  11. Aaron Berger

    I have to be honest in saying that I’ve never followed much, if any, of his work, nor the reports of his inappropriate habits with models. What disturbs me most about this article is the obvious lack of proofreading. I can understand maybe a typo or two, but this article is riddled with spelling mistakes. As an example from the article itself, “Why do big name companies continue to higher a man known for such distasteful work habits?” “Higher” refers to height and not the process of contractually employing a photographer to complete a job. Just from that standpoint alone, my interest in the topic of the article is lost! Sorry, but good journalism starts with propper speling and detaled proufreeding. ;)

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  12. Drew

    And the writers of Jezebel are as bad with words as Terry is with a camera:
    “…Richardson maintains his innocents…”

    Innocence NOT Innocents. Spell check wouldn’t have caught that. But a basic grasp of grammar would have.

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    • Drew

      Sorry. The writers of SLR Lounge! Ugh. I enjoy SLR Lounge way more than Jezebel. But the grammar is still hilarious.

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    • Geckotek

      Actually, innocents is the plural of innocent so spell check would not catch it. Just one of the many failures in relying on spell check and not an editor.

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    • bobby

      He said spell check wouldn’t catch it…

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  13. JC Ruiz

    If these allegations are true, just read the full story on Jezebel, it does make you wonder how he continues to get work if people know of his predatory behavior.

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  14. L

    Terry Richardson is not the only person getting away with this, unfortunately our culture is teaches women that it is shameful to be a victim of sexual abuse/harassment, that we were asking for it, etc. Having gone through my own experiences with sexual abuse it doesn’t surprise me in the least that none of these women have taken legal action – plus, who is to say that some didn’t try to and got paid off. I’m glad people are starting to talk about Richardson’s predatory behavior, and I do hope that one of his victims takes legal action. I also hope that by talking about this issue that models in the future will know that they can and should say no if they are sexually harassed, because it happens on all levels of the industry, all the time.

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    • Rob T.

      I don’t understand how it’s ‘shameful’ to report it to the police, yet, NOT shameful to report it on a public website, letting EVERYONE know. That doesn’t make sense.

      I shoot nude/risque. I’m hired to do so by models. Every so often I get an angry email to make sure to delete all evidence of the shoot, 6 months later, despite hiring me and signing a 10page release, AND having my wife/assistant on set….because someone regretted a decision.

      Accusing someone of sexual harassment in a public forum, should be illegal if no charges have been filed. If someone did that to me, someone who’s not famous, I’d be ruined…because no one ever publishes the article that says “oh yeah, remember that public accusation? it was unfounded”

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  15. Mike Jones

    Correct me if I’m wrong but that Jezebel post is old and was made 3/18/10 1:20pm.

    But keeping on topic, for all the hate that Terry Richardson gets, you’d think that these women who make these claims would go about pursuing legal action for all the reprehensible things he has, allegedly, done. Many of the allegations are pretty serious but we’ve heard nothing more than hearsay on unestablished models.

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    • Rino Engdal

      Same as Mike Jones wrote, was about to comment the same.
      So it kinda stupid refering to a 3 years old article like its a new one.

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