New Terry Richardson victim tells her story as NYMag prepares a pro-Terry piece

Terry Richardson

I last spoke of Terry when model Emma Appleton said he offered her a Vogue shoot in exchange for sex. Emma ended up deleting her Twitter profile because of abusive comments. Terry hired a “digital forensic expert” to tell the world that he never sent a Facebook message to Emma. He says he never propsitioned her. I don’t know what to say to that.

Terry’s reputation as a creep is still cemented by plenty of other horror stories. Jezebel’s Uncle Terry primer (NSFW language) convinced me years ago. The most vivid story came from model Charlotte Waters, who identified herself as a Terry victim in March. Her story was very disturbing, and it prompted Terry to talk back for the first time. He spouted off some sanctimonious stuff about a “witch hunt of false accuations” and continued with a discussion about “respect.” He is a disgusting, entitled creep. Will magazines ever stop hiring him? I don’t know.

Jezebel says that NYMag is preparing a pro-Terry cover story. This announcement prompted another one of Terry’s victims to come forth. She has not identified herself by name, but she sent a very long, detailed (NSFW) email to Jezebel. You can read the whole thing at Jezebel, but here are just a few paragraphs:

My name is Anna [Redacted] and I am a writer and stylist living in New York City. While I’m not a professional model by any means, I was photographed and sexually assaulted by the delightful Terry Richardson following the July 2008 launch party of the Nolita restaurant Delicatessen. I was 23 at the time.

Terry had been hired to take portraits of party-goers (the photos from the booth are still collaged on the restaurant’s menus and bathroom walls, mine included), and he was apparently quite taken with my energy in front of the camera (please note the sarcasm here). His now-infamous assistant, Leslie Lessin, approached me and asked if they could have my phone number to set up a photo shoot. I obliged.

Then she came back. Now they wanted to know if I would be willing to skip out on the party for a few minutes and go do an impromptu photo shoot at Terry’s home/studio on Bowery, just a few blocks away. Never one to turn down an ill-advised adventure or an appeal to my vanity, I said, “Sure!”

I can’t even say he shot any photos. His assistant held the camera and pushed the buttons, under his direction. At first, I just stood against the wall, traditional portrait-style while I made goofy faces and she snapped away. Innocent fun. He asked if I’d reveal my “t-ts.” I’m not against nudity by any means and have had plenty of photographer friends shoot me in various states of undress so again, the answer was, “Sure. Why not!” Boobs out, no big deal.

Then he entered the shot and Leslie snapped a few of us together. He had me kind of crouch down on the floor as I moved around, posing. Then, suddenly …

[From Jezebel]

Aaaand that’s the part of the story where Terry (allegedly) sexually assaulted Anna. He tried to get an on-camera beej, and she ran. Thank god. A few days later, Terry’s vile female assistant, Leslie, called Anna and tried to close the deal again. You’ll remember Leslie from Charlotte Waters’ story. Leslie’s job is to flatter and sweet talk Terry’s victims before and after he does whatever he wants. She takes photos of what he does to them. Leslie called Anna and said, “Terry cannot stop talking about you. You’re his new muse. He’s obsessed.

Terry Richardson

Photos courtesy of WENN

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76 Responses to “New Terry Richardson victim tells her story as NYMag prepares a pro-Terry piece”

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  1. Eve says:

    I was going to say “what a repulsive little man” but then I realized…no, he’s not just that, he’s a criminal!

    P.S.: Same goes for R. Kelly. Both should be in jail but are, instead, celebrated by the industries to which they belong.

    • blue marie says:

      So true and this is so disgusting

    • Greata says:

      Totally agree, and every magazine that uses his work is complicit. Surely, there are other photographers they can use.

      • Just Me (and my Bobby McGee) says:

        “every magazine that uses his work is complicit..”

        EXACTLY. People need to keep talking about this. The Mags are hoping it dies down, that people forget. Public interest is so fleeting. Keep talking about it. Don’t let it die down. The mags have no choice but to respond. People say internet activism doesn’t work – I beg to differ.

    • Bridget says:

      People talk about how well known the R Kelly stories are around Chicago, and what a horrid predator he is. I cannot even believe that man is not in jail.

      Not only is Terry Richardson a predator, he’s a crappy photographer! Ugh, no more over-lit, white backdrops.

    • Chicagogurl says:

      This! I actually know Robert and he absolutely deserves jail time.

      Terry is so disgusting and those that call him talentless are correct. I get the heaves thinking about his assistant Leslie and her cheerleading all of this. Jezebel did a piece on her back in March and after reading it, well, she be considered and accomplice and also dismissed in the industry. There’s nothing artistic about baiting women and then exploiting them.

    • I Choose Me says:

      This Leslie Liessen woman is also pretty f-cking disgusting. As Uncle Terry’s pervy co-conspirator she deserves to go down with him.

    • acidburn says:

      Talking about repulsive, whenever i watch Orange is the new black, i ALWAYS think the Pornstache police office was directly inspired on Terry. That’s him in real life! Disgusting!

    • Absurdist says:

      He’s not a “criminal” until somebody files charges, and there must be some kind of reason that nobody has…

      To be fair, for girls to come forward with these stories without Richardson publicly and vigorously rebutting them or filing suit for defamation (given that truth is absolute defense against a claim of defamation) suggests that there may well be truth to the stories, so presuming that he’s a sleazebag is fair enough, but again, NONE OF THESE WOMEN HAVE FILED RAPE CHARGES. If there was an attorney out there who thought that he or she could make the charges stick, I can’t help but think that there’s at least one who would be rushing to a grand jury as we speak.

  2. Clucky says:

    Thumbs DOWN Terry.

  3. Kiddo says:

    What’s up with NYMag? Also, I haven’t eaten breakfast yet. The Uncle Terry diet is quite effective as it makes you lose your appetite, but be careful if you’ve already eaten.

    • Abbott says:

      I’m running on only platelets and will power after reading that. I’ve never looked thinner!

  4. Rusty Machine says:

    Somebody should whip out a knife during one of these photo shoots and use it–freely and vigorously–when he tries to pull that THING out next to their face. Knife party!

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Seriously. I don’t condone violence but this man needs to be shown in a very drastic way that his behavior is not ok.

      My heart really aches for this woman (and the rest of his victims) because within her account of the incident, I’m detecting an undercurrent of self-blame cloaked in wry humor.
      It’s so easy for me to imagine how women get pulled in and I’m sure they NEVER think someone as high-profile as Richardson would sexually assault them.

    • BangersandMash says:

      he might like that even more than you might expect, this in uncle terry we speak of!!

      i cannot, cannot begin to describe how much i loathe this creature.

      so, i would hit him where it hurts. his wallet and his name!!

    • Green Is Good says:

      Now there’s a plan with no drawbacks, and pervery Uncle Terry gets put on notice to keep his hands away from women who don’t want to be molested. Fracking scumbag.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        It’s stories like these that make me wish I had a vagina dentata.

    • Maria of MD says:

      One well aimed kick should do the trick actually.

  5. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Yeah I’m totally siding with the victims here. I don’t believe Uncy Terry for a second.

    Even just reading this woman’s account–it’s very self-aware and blunt. She doesn’t sound like the type of woman to fabricate a story for attention. Too many women are recounting stories that follow the SAME predatory pattern.

    He is such a filthy scumbag.

    • Kiddo says:

      Scumbags are now insulted. They request that you apologize for the unfair comparison.

  6. lisa2 says:

    Let’s see there has been no call to boycott magazines that feature his pictures. No women’s groups up in arms to say this is wrong.. nothing.

    but we get another magazine that is going to show what a super great guy and photographer he is.

    In London there is a Summit on women’s being abused. On another thread someone got all mad saying that the chairs of the Summit were turning a blind eye to women here in the US and other places not getting attention.

    when this happens and women come out to speak about abuse where is the support. I read a comment on another site from a woman saying she could not pass judgement because she wasn’t sure the women were actually telling the truth.

    wonder why they need all this proof for this guy. Makes me sick.

    • amanda says:

      this stuff going on with him in the perfect example of money and sales being the most important thing about the fashion industry, or any piece of the entertainment industry, in my opinion.

      they’ll use him as a photographer b/c people know his name. they want to sell.

      same reason why women still starve themselves to death to be ‘accepted’ into this cult of an industry, but nobody is punished for it, rich people (and not-so-rich people) still buy the fancy clothes these skinny models wear…

      there should be more support about this. im glad people are coming out, but via reddit? do you really want justice or do you just want to add to the accusations against him?

      is there really no proof from any of these women enough to have any sort of legal case against this guy? that’s the frustrating part to me…time after time we hear these stories but not one spec of proof…what is with that?!

      • lisa2 says:

        People were calling a boycott against Woody Allen. And that was she said he said..

        People call for boycotts against people for divorces, who is dating who.. on and on.

        My point is I am taken aback at what the public will get upset about and what they won’t. Charlie Sheeen put his children out of their home. I have heard very little about that. I just think OUTRAGE is strange and what people get so pissed about is well to say the least strange.

    • Irishserra says:

      My thoughts exactly. I want to do something. I want to do SOMETHING!!! SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!

      • grimsfairytale says:

        I don’t really have social media besides instagram, BUT we can all try to do something. We could tweet (if you have Twitter) or take to various social media with hashtags like #boycottNYMag, #boycottUncleTerry, #YesAllWomen with links to these types of stories about him. I dont have a kinja account but someone here probably does and can get the jezzies going with it too? There have been petitions but they just end up getting disregarded, we should be as in your face about the abuse as he is in our face while he actively commits sex crimes. He really p!sses me off.

      • Irishserra says:

        @grims: Done!

      • grimsfairytale says:

        @irishserra sadly I’m the only insta post thus far :/ I also tagged him under #chestermolester as it’s apparently more well-known. This needs be a thing. He’s so skeevy and a predator.

      • Irishserra says:

        The only social media I use is Twitter, so I’ve made use of that.

    • Klaw says:

      I believe there is a petition that one of our posters supplied a link to in the last blog about him. I signed it, but don’t remember the info… Anyone?

      It already had quite a few signatures.

      • grimsfairytale says:

        Yeah only around 100,000 though which unfortunately isn’t enough to make the fashion world care.

  7. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    He and his assistant belong in jail. Shame on NYMag.

  8. Loopy says:

    I am still baffled at all this HIGH profile personalities working with him, something sinister is at work here.

    • Mrs. Darcy says:

      Me too, I simply do not get how he has retained this hipster cool veneer that fashion mags and celebs find so appealing, more appealing seemingly than the testimonials of dozens of his victims.It would be easy to write them all off as dumb airheads, but a few people who I genuinely think are awesome have posed for him, it sucks and they have gone way down in my estimation. This guy holds a weird sway over people that I don’t get, and NY MAG is hopefully going to get all the flack for this that they deserve. Sick.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      I don’t see it any differently than the pedophilia rampant and protected in Hollywood. The almighty dollar is all that matters and if somebody is making the industry alot of money, even if they are known predators, they are protected and supported. Disgusting doesn’t even come close to describing the lack of morals and humanity at play. If there ever were to be a modern day Sodom and Gamorah, it would be Hollywood.

  9. maynot says:

    If only A-List models, actors and celebs refused to work with this guy, he would disappear in no-time.
    He is not even that great as a photographer, technically speaking.

    • Kiddo says:

      Technically and artistically. The compositions are shite too.

      • Bridget says:

        He’s trying to convince us that his sexually explicit images are pushing artistic boundaries, when all it’s done has been to.give him a facade of acceptability for him to sexually exploit young women. It isn’t that we don’t ‘get’ his art. UGH

    • Eve says:


      • amanda says:

        agreed, and I think it’s pretty clear that we (society and women in particular) are not interested in ‘art’ that pushed boundaries by being sexually assaulted. thats not art, that’s just taking advantage of your position and being a born creep, in my opinion.

        there are other and better ways to push fashion and photography and art besides molesting people…and if you don’t agree, you belong in jail in this society.

      • NorthernGirl_20 says:

        Agreed, and in all of the accounts it isn’t even Terry taking the photographs it’s his assistant.

  10. Red32 says:

    Why are people so obsessed with him? He’s not the only photographer in NYC, and his pictures aren’t that groundbreaking anyway. The world won’t end if magazines hire someone else but they keep sticking behind this guy no matter how many horror stories come to light.

  11. Sighs says:

    Ugh. He is obviously lower than an amoeba on pond scum, and I have to wonder what kind of *ucked up head case his assistant is to participate in his revolting and criminal acts?

  12. Jenns says:

    Why are people still working with this guy?!?

  13. mata says:

    His assistant is as vile as he is. I’m sure a lot of these young women feel safe because there’s another woman approaching them and being in the room. In reality, it seems like she’s there just to lull them into a false sense of security and set them up.

    • Miss M says:

      I came here to say the same thing. She is awful. How can she contribute and participate in such predatory behavior?

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Yes, I think there’s a special place in hell for her. What an unfeeling, cruel woman she must be.

  14. Dragonlady sakura says:

    Man, I hope his next muse is clever enough to bring a freaking camera and get his rotten ass on tape! These women need clear evidence of his sexual crimes so he can finally go to jail. He will continue to play the victim and have his peers back him up.

  15. lucy2 says:

    WTF is wrong with NY Mag?! And anyone else continuing to hire this predator.

  16. amanda says:

    is there enough evidence against him for a search warrant of some kind?

    this ‘anna’ says ‘i have no proof whatsoever’ which i think is this guys only ‘saving grace’ at this point. nobody can ‘prove’ this stuff happened, and that doesn’t mean it didn’t, but either he’s planning it that way or people are lying about what went down when they were alone with him.

    if these pictures this assistant takes during these incidents could be found or seen by authorities, couldn’t they do something more about it?

    im unsure if he’s had ‘incidents’ with under-18 models before, but that definitely would be enough to put him in jail, right?

  17. mercy says:

    Shame on New York mag! They heap enormous amounts of snark and shade on relatively harmless celebs, but defend this criminal sleaze bag? Cancelling my subscription! What else can we do? 🙁

  18. Allie says:

    I’m so disgusted by this creep. I want to scream at every celebrity that poses for him or willingly hangs out with him. I feel a rage blackout coming on.

    • Zwella Ingrid says:

      LOL on “rage black out”. I love that term. I’m going to steal it. Happens to me frequently.

  19. eliza says:

    When is this repulsive and untalented POS going to be arrested and banned from the fashion industry?

    I know it is trendy to be around this rapist but I really give serious side eye to ANY celebrity that wants to be associated with this vile creature.

  20. Jmo says:

    He knows who to take those opportunities with and who to flatter and fuss over. His highest profile “friends” probably can honestly say they have never witnessed these acts because TR knows how to choose his victims. He also is trading on people’s tendency to turn a blind eye to a “nobody’s” word when met with a denial.

    His assistant needs to man up and finally expose this pervert. Or someone needs to catch TR on hidden camera or video. I hate to say this, but without concrete evidence I don’t see an end to his career or any charges being laid!

    • PunkyMomma says:

      ^This. He only preys on the vulnerable. He would never try this shit on someone who had the power to bust him. He reminds me of Bryan Singer.

      • lower-case deb says:

        someone posted this link on tumblr a few days ago:

        shows how he’s smart. the Fanning sisters looked almost overdressed at this point. he knows how to pretend. i’m sure the sisters were there with some kind of guardian/maybe their parents.

        Richardson also uses his assistant to cover up his tracks. the assistant is also despicable! some of these girls are so young! and they have no one to defend them.

        what sickened me the most however, the constant victim doubters and victim blamers! makes my blood boil! this is not an isolated incident, not the first time someone come forward.

        this latest victim, she has no hard evidence, maybe (needed for prosection) but she has made herself VERY VULNERABLE by giving up so much details (her photograph is still on the wall of the restaurant, the name of the restaurant, the time and date) all easily verifiable and she can be easily identified.

        she is Risking Herself being followed/stalked/harmed by Richardson apologists and people are still doubting her (and many others?)

        and you wonder why so many people choose silence until the 11th hour when you just can’t keep it in anymore and feel you really have nothing to lose.

    • Irishserra says:

      I am of the opinion his assistant is getting off on these incidents as well; hence, she won’t be coming forward anytime soon… Unless she gets enough pressure and finds herself in a situation where she needs to save her own butt.

    • Aura says:

      This industry thrives off objectifying desperate young women. They don’t want these women to have a voice, say no, or make demands. The models are just bodies that can easily be replaced by younger bodies. They protect their power by protecting Terry. It’s safe to say, their silence is support.

  21. lisa2 says:

    I think too many people that work with him are trying to be edgy and failing.

  22. Suzy from Ontario says:

    I don’t understand why he is still being hired. His photography is just not that good; he’s a dime a dozen type photographer and most of the time it crosses the line from crude and rude into porn. It’s not like he’s Annie Lebowitz or something! Now she is talent.

    Plus with all these accusations of sexual abuse…why do they (the mags and celebs) want to be associated with this guy? I do not get it. Where is his power coming from? Does he have stuff on people? Pics they don’t want seen? What?!

    He is sooooo sleazy!

  23. Irishserra says:

    I never cease to be confounded by the power given to such pieces of garbage like TR. He’s a filthy, disgusting NOTHING with no talent and a horrid reputation and yet no one will stand up to him and worse, he’s continually patronized. Why??

  24. Jayna says:

    Leslie is demented and a criminal too. The girl ran out, obviously horrified and not even about to be tricked i to it. And yet Leslie calls again using predator talk basically trying to get her back to another photoshoot so she can be degraded and Terry can finish the deal.. Disgusting.

  25. Adrien says:

    NYMag? How disappointing!

  26. Lisa says:

    Die quickly.

  27. Nighty says:

    Feeling disgusted… I don’t know who’s more repulsive, him or his assistant..

  28. als says:

    I doubt he thinks anything he did was wrong, he seems to be the kind of moron/ pervert that uses the ‘artist’ label to get away with anything. They call it ‘artistic freedom’, no?
    And since we are on the subject, the thing that I find most horrible in Hollywood, beside the porn money, is the people’s lack of awareness concerning their age, both the old and the young.
    The girl in this story is 23. What do men like Terry Richardson feel when they are with someone that could be their child?

  29. Chris says:

    Angelina Jolie needs to lead the charge on denouncing Uncle Terry and the magazines that support him and his type. She ‘d get the job done.

  30. Goodnight says:

    Ugh, The more I hear about Unclr Terry the worse it gets. I hope Susan Eldridge one day talks about what he did to her, the poor girl was his girlfriend for a couple of years and has seen and endured a lot.