Victims of Photographer Terry Richardson Speak Up and Have a Voice

“He is the Annie Leibovitz of his generation,  having shot every celebrity icon of the past decade — Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Beyoncé,” says, Maureen Callahan writing for the New York Post.  In 2007, he photographed Barack Obama for Vibe. His work appears in nearly every major fashion publication, and he has done campaigns for multibillion-dollar big name luxury brands. He also likes to be called ­“Uncle Terry,” has depicted himself copulating with a sheep, and once embarked on a project called “Breaking in the Carpet,” photographing himself ejaculating on rugs in various hotel rooms. I think we should call him “Uncle Jerry” or “Uncle Woody” of the Jerry Sandusky, Woody Allen ilk. But in the fashion industry, Terry Richardson — of the geeky oversized eyeglasses and omnipresent “thumbs-up” gesture — is notorious for years-long, rampant reports of sexually exploiting and abusing his models, models allege. “I was a shy kid,” he has said, “and now I’m this powerful guy with a boner, dominating all these girls.” This “powerful guy with a boner” should be sued for his actions and so should all the brands that knowingly knew what he was doing but turned a blind eye because the ends justified the means. They got the prize photos they long for, and the victims, well, oh-well. If you are a victim of Terry Richardson, please e-mail me: info@sharikarney.com. That is why Melissa Gilbert, Shari Karney, Esq.  and thousands of others are asking you to please stand with these survivors to ask “Vogue, H&M, Mango, Supreme and all other brands: Stop using ­alleged sex offender Terry Richardson as your photographer.” The first reports of Richardson’s abuse surfaced in 2010, when supermodel Rie Rasmussen told Page Six she’d run into him in Paris. “I told him, ‘What you do is completely degrading to women. I hope you know you only f–k girls because you have a camera, lots of fashion contacts and get your pictures in Vogue.’ ” Younger models, Rasmussen told Page Six, “are too afraid to say no, because their agency booked them on the job, and [they] are too young to stand up for themselves.” According to another young model, Richardson maneuvered her to the couch while he dropped names, told her she should come upstate with him and his famous friends, then “strongly suggested” she give him a hand job while his ­assistants cheered her on. After Richardson climaxed, one of his assistants handed her a towel and she fled, feeling ashamed and “like I needed two showers. In November 2012, Bruce Willis’ and Demi Moore’s daughter Scout tweeted that “last night Terry Richardson tried to finger me. I didn’t let him, obviously. But I did let him photograph me topless in the bathroom.” (Willis later claimed the tweets were fictitious and done for a school project.) It’s the American Apparel now cultural archetype aesthetic on nearly every billboard and magazine cover we see. We’re living in Terry’s world — that of a 12-year-old boy’s sexual fantasies, women nothing more than objects of lust or degradation. “Glee” actress Dianna Agron was humiliated after a GQ shoot with Richardson. Richardson planned the  setup: she and co-star Lea Michele were naughty cheerleaders pursuing a threesome with male cast member Cory Montieth. Agron later apologized to fans who had been made “uncomfortable.” In 2012, Chloë Sevigny admitted that Richardson’s methods were often manipulative, and that at least she, as a celebrity, was able to enforce boundaries: “[Young models] walk out of there and cry, ‘What did I do?’ ” Very few people will speak on the record about Richardson. Even those rare editors who blackballed him have never commented. An anonymous fashion-industry source has said that despite knowing “full well Richardson’s predatory behavior, [he’s] tolerated because industry folk are just sheep. There are only a handful of photographers who have the power, a handful of editors . . . everyone else just follows this small group.” And to this author, it’s another Jerry Sandusky, the winning fashion icon or football coach, sexually assaulting the young, impressionable, and helpless. All of this makes me want to take double hot showers. Even more surprising: The world of fashion magazines is one of the few industries dominated by women. How do they continue to employ a man like this that they wouldn’t leave alone with their own daughters? Aren’t we all someone’s daughter? It’s also hard to reconcile the endorsement of celebrities whose public images stand in opposition to all Richardson represents: Madonna, who ­recently told Harper’s Bazaar that she’d been raped when she first came to New York, was shot by Richardson for that very issue. Today, Richardson says he is clean and sober. Of shooting girls with “SLUT” written across their foreheads while they give him oral sex or of being jammed into garbage cans while they do the same — Richardson, in 2004, said he was bored of it all. “Lately, I find myself thinking I’d really love to settle down, get married, have kids, have a regular relationship.” As of Friday, Richardson was still soliciting amateur models on his site: “If you are 18 or older, male or female, and wish to pose nude or topless for an upcoming project, please contact.” We need to stop this predator. If you are a victim, come forward, take legal action, stop another young model or girl, from this self described ‘pervert’.   Contact me if you have been a victim of Terry Richardson. I am here to help you through it. It wasn’t your fault. You were young, naive, helpless, voiceless. No more!