Terry Richardson by Christophe Becker (image via Becker’s Flickrstream)

It was only a matter of time before disgraced (and disgraceful) photographer Terry Richardson was back in the news for sexual assault. In mid-December, the New York Daily News published an article detailing new sexual harassment allegations against him. On Tuesday, the newspaper reported that the photographer is being investigated by the NYPD’s Special Victims Squad as a result.

Spurred by the #MeToo movement, model Caron Bernstein told the Daily News last month that Richardson forcibly put his penis in her mouth during a 2003 photoshoot. Bernstein says Richardson also ejaculated on her chest during a shoot the photographer told her was for V Magazine, but which the magazine does not recall ever assigning to him. According to the article, “Richardson vehemently denied any wrongdoing through his lawyer,” who claimed everything that may have happened was consensual. (Apparently, this is Richardson’s go-to defense.)

Bernstein’s complaint against Richardson is just the latest in a slew of accusations that have piled up since the early 2000s, many of them involving Richardson taking out his penis uninvited, forcing fellatio, and/or ejaculating on models during photoshoots. As disturbing as this behavior is in general, even more disgusting is the inherent power play involved. “I was afraid and confused and hoping to get it over with. I left there feeling like human garbage,” former model Lindsay Jones told the Daily News. “He thought I was disposable.”

While many major publications have already broken ties with Richardson over the years, perhaps this investigation will further shame the fashion industry into self-awareness.

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Elena Goukassian

Elena Goukassian is an arts writer based in Brooklyn. Originally from Bulgaria, she grew up in Washington state and lived in Washington, DC before moving to New York in 2017. Her writing has also appeared...