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Photography News

Terry Richardson Under Investigation by NYPD SVS

By Kishore Sawh on January 3rd 2018

It was hardly 3 months ago when news broke that Condé Nast was not only severing ties with ‘Uncle Terry’ but dropping all then-upcoming and unpublished work. This was a big deal. Terry Richardson has been a mainstay of the fashion industry since the early 2000s, his images synonymous with the genre and replicated the world over. But through much of his tenure Richardson has been marred by the effervescent accusations of sexual deviancy towards his subjects, even if generally anecdotal.

Though accusations and recounts of his behavior had escalated over the years from harassment up to and including rape allegations, Terry’s career only continued to improve and it’s speculated his earnings to be somewhere in the $58 million dollar region between 2012-2013, which is long after these accusations had begun. In fact, until Condé Nast dropped Richardson officially it seemed he had escaped the accusations unscathed, but it’s been revealed by the NY Daily News that Richardson is now under investigation by the NYPD regarding multiple sexual assault allegations.

“Multiple women confirmed Tuesday that investigators from the elite unit have reached out in recent weeks, asking for sit-down meetings regarding the lurid lensman.

The development follows a Dec. 15 cover story in The News detailing new allegations of sexual assault against the 52-year-old former fashion industry star…”

*Find a list of allegations here

Richardson has, predictably, denied all such allegations of harassment and assault since the beginning, though relatively quietly, and generally denoting that his interactions were frequently sexual in nature, but plainly claims the interactions were consensual. He published an open letter which probably merits revisiting, but here’s an excerpt:

“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.

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.”


All of this is both curious and due. The western world is having a bit of a ‘moment’ of revelation right now, and purging an old system of miscreants is part of it. If there’s one take-away to be had from any of this is that your reputation in photography will either precede you or…catch up to you. Tread carefully. Oh, and don’t be a predator…

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Nahz Madriaga

    Its just sad having this kind of publication against photographers who are in the industry.

    What about those who are about to start doing nude photography? There will be doubts built around.. and it will be hard to build portfolios with this kind of incident..

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  2. Geoffrey Forrest

    What I find “Curious” about his letter/answer is: When a person has the power to choose you or loose you there is always a form of use and abuse. When a parent uses their children to get them a drink of water or do their school work, there is always an implied threat of withholding approval or love, whatever. Example: In school the teacher asked me to open the window. I refused I got into trouble.

    I went to the principales office… Etc. 

    When, after 6, out with the “Boss” and a few others from my office,      I commented that what the boss said was wrong and got into a problem with him. I said, “It is after 6, you are the host, not the boss. He had to laugh it off… BUT.

    Also, Defences are dangerous because the defender has to show how innocent they are, in almost anything and everything, which is actually impossible. Everyone over 40 and maost under has insulted, abused, harrassed someone more than once or twice in their life.

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  3. Geoffrey Forrest

    It seems that all people who are accused of a crime or “Abuse” deny everything. The main truth is that they are not atractive enough to the people they want to attract, especially when they were in their teens, when it is most imoatrant for a persons sexual development.

    I have been lightly harrassed by a few people, who took my friendly form of rejection in a reasonable way. 

    This is one of the main reasons that most men strive to hold top positions and/or get rich, which is the only way they can get the people they want to pay attention to them or to choose them as a friend,  a lover or a mate.

    I was born and raised in NYC,. and anyone who was born in a city   with millions of people of divers looks colors and beliefs with a legal and illegal night life, will accept and suffer many acts of casual      abuse and insults.

     It is more an anger with ones’ self that causes the main part of the “Problem”. If a person answers back, has a good defense, verbal or otherwise, they do not get angry years later because of their inability to handle the matter. A person with a brain,  a sense of humor and/or a good answer can never be insulted or abuse by a touch or a hand on the knee or a few dumb words.

    The difference between R. Moore and A. Franken is the difference between a person with a development and control problem and a jerk who doesn’t know how to attract and/or seduce a woman. Deep down they have an anger because of their “Needs” and blame the other for most of their problems. It is a well know fact that people who depend on others can develop an inner hate for them, based on their dependency. That is what true freedom is all about. Not to have the need for anyone or anything. Then life becomes a luxuary and one can choose to do with or do without whoever or whatever they want.

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