Fashion Photographer Terry Richardson at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscars Party
(Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)
Terry Richardson is speaking out for the first time about allegations that he acted inappropriately with models behind the scenes, blasting the claims as a “witch hunt.”
Richardson, who has photographed Beyoncé, Madonna, Rihanna and Kate Upton for Harper’s Bazaar, GQ and Rolling Stone covers, has been accused in online reports of sexual misconduct with various beauties.
But Page Six has exclusively obtained a letter from Richardson defending himself, calling the accusations “false,” “hate-filled and libelous tales.”
Richardson writes that years ago, “I chose to primarily ignore a cycle of Internet gossip and false accusations against me . . . I felt that to dignify them with a response was a betrayal of my work and my character.” He adds of the claims, which popped up again last week: “When these allegations resurfaced over the past few months, they seemed especially vicious and distorted . . . becoming nothing more than an emotionally-charged witch hunt.”
He says, “People have become comfortable concocting hate-filled and libelous tales . . . In writing this, I make a humble attempt at correcting these rumors,” adding that without his voice, “All that remain are the lies.”
Some stories about his alleged indecent behavior came from anonymous sources, while models including Jamie Peck, Charlotte Wheeler and Charlotte Waters have gone public. Rie Rasmussen accused him of manipulating other young models in 2010.
Richardson notes that, “like Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton,” he’s gained a rep for his explicit pictures, particularly after his 2004 book “Terryworld,” which “explored the beauty, rawness and humor that sexuality entails.”
But he asserts, “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.”
Read the letter at Page Six.
Model Jessica Stam and Terry Richardson at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2012
(Photo: Getty Images/Michael Buckner)