Leslie Lessin, a highly regarded stylist in the fashion industry, has been identified as the woman who served as Richardson's enabler and facilitator, according to a new article.
Via an article on Vocativ.com, Charlotte Waters and Jamie Peck say gross sexual predator Terry Richardson works with a woman who stood by, watched and in some cases actively encouraged the photographer engaging in humiliating sexual acts with girls on his shoots.
Waters identified Lessin as that woman after being shown her photo:
Charlotte Waters and Jamie Peck, two former models who have spoken out about their humiliating experiences with Richardson, have now confirmed that the colleague in question is Leslie Lessin, a successful stylist with a Rolodex of high-profile clients. According to both women, Lessin was the "assistant" who served as Richardson's enabler, facilitator and collaborator during their nude sessions with him.
Shown a photograph of Leslie Lessin, Waters confirmed "without a doubt" that Lessin was the assistant who Waters says stood over her and took photos with a point-and-shoot camera as Richardson ejaculated onto her face. "Made my jaw drop seeing that pic!" wrote Waters.
Waters said Lessin handed her a towel to clean off with afterwards, adding "it seemed like they had done this a million times."
In addition to that, Waters said Lessin talked her into being quiet about the incident:
Waters said Lessin also insisted on sharing a cab with her after the shoot, in an apparent attempt to perform emotional damage control. "She kept telling me that I was a really strong girl, and that I'm really cool, and that it's so good that I can handle that sort of thing," Waters said. "Looking back it was obviously her attempt to make me feel like what I did was a good thing and what happened wasn't bad."
According to Lessin's portfolio and an online archive of her work, she and Richardson have been working together professionally for close to a decade. As a stylist, Lessin's resume includes dozens of Harper's Bazaar covers and editorial spreads, the Pirelli calendar and campaigns for international brands like Levi's, Aldo, Nike, Carolina Herrera and Heineken. She has also worked with a number of major celebrities, including Miley Cyrus, Cate Blanchett, Jessica Alba and Barbara Streisand.
In fact, Lessin may be the photographer's number one fan. "I love Terry Richardson so hard!" Lessin told theschoolofstyle.com. "He is one of my most favoritest people on the planet. He is a creative, artistic genius. He literally never ever runs out of fresh amazing ideas. He is a modern master. I am blessed to be one of the people who gets to work with him."
In 2004, Lessin was described in a profile of Richardson in the New York Observer as the "stylist friend" who approaches potential models in a Soho Starbucks on the photographer's behalf. "I've had girls come up to me and say, 'I want to shoot with Terry—he's a bad boy,'" she told the paper.
Here's a video of Lessin, who says her favorite "ism" is "jism:"
Jamie Peck, the journalist and former model who described how Richardson once told her he wanted to use her tampon to make tea, said she also remembers a bevy of assistants standing by and encouraging them:
"It was sort of like watching someone else do it, someone who couldn't possibly be me because I would never touch a creepy photographer's penis," Peck wrote. "The only explanation I can come up with is that he was so darn friendly and happy about it all, and his assistants were so stoked on it as well, that I didn't want to be the killjoy in the room. My new fake friends would've been bummedif I'd said no."
"He also had these two male assistants there," Peck recalled over the phone. "But I remember Lessin as being very gung ho about everything. She was encouraging me the whole way, like isn't this fun? Isn't this cool? Everything is A-OK."
Lessin has not commented on the allegations.