Anonymous Model Who Accused Terry Richardson of Assault Comes Forward

The model who took to Reddit in order to anonymously share her horrific experience working with Terry Richardson has come forward: her name is Charlotte Waters, she was a 19-year-old art student at the time, and she's sharing her story because she just wants Richardson's clients and supporters to know what a disgusting, exploitative creep he is.

In an interview with Vocativ, Waters rehashes and elaborates on several points made in the Reddit post (which has since been removed); she also discusses the impact the devastating impact the assault had on her life. She says that she was motivated to come forward because she started seeing articles about his horrific behavior on Facebook:

"I wanted to say, 'Hey, I've experienced this first hand. These aren't just rumors.' But I wasn't sure I wanted to come out about this very embarrassing thing I did, so I was just sitting on it for a while. And then I realized that what happened to me is something that has happened to other people and will likely continue to happen until his dick falls off, so I have to say something."

At the time of the assault, she says, she was "a rapist's dream, completely naive and trusting, but passive and shy on top of that." She'd done nude modeling before; in her past experience, though, "the power was balanced. I didn't feel like [any photographer] had control over me." With Richardson, of course, things were very different.


In the interview, she also goes into greater detail about the assault. As she said on Reddit, Terry Richardson stuck his thumb in her mouth and had her hold the waistband of his pants. Then he took his penis out, and she froze.

I felt like I was already in it to the point that I couldn't get out, which sounds kind of crazy, but I had the mentality of 19-year-old. Even just talking about it makes me start to feel the way I felt then, which was just completely paralyzed and freaked out.

As she recounted on Reddit, he then started "licking [her] ass" and told her to perform oral sex on him. She elaborates on what, exactly, happened:

I don't even really remember what specific things were happening at that point, but he was directing everything. Like, "OK squeeze my balls," "OK, put my dick in your mouth," "OK, now kiss me." It wasn't intimate. He also straddled me and started jerking off on my face.

He told me to keep my eyes open super wide. His assistant was standing right there too, and his cum got in my eyes. This was actually his favorite moment. He got so excited. He kept telling me to keep my eyes open, and he grabbed his camera, and his assistant had her little point-and-shoot, and they were just taking all these pictures of it.

Afterwards Richardson and his assistant "could tell that [she] was in shock," and later that night she had a "full-blown panic attack" that sent her to the hospital; after that, she stopped nude modeling entirely and moved to L.A. "It's actually crazy to realize, at this point, how much that experience affected the path that my life took from then forward," she says.


At the time, she blamed herself. "I felt guilty," she told Vocativ. "I felt like an idiot. I chalked it up to all of the stupid choices I had made." Now, though, she recognizes Richardson for what he is: a vile, manipulative predator. Accordingly, she reported him to the NYPD — sadly (but not at all unexpectedly), the detective told her that "this isn't a crime situation because [she] never said no." This sort of reductive, black-and-white thinking is exactly why Richardson gets away with assault in the first place: he preys on inexperienced young women whose position in a skewed power dynamic makes it exceptionally difficult to say no, and our culture of victim-blaming accepts their terrified, shocked silence as consent. Terry Richardson knew exactly what he was doing. He's done it before, and — unless everyone in the fashion industry stops overlooking and tacitly condoning his ghastly behavior — he's going to continue to do it.

When asked what she thought of all of Richardson's work with respected magazines and high-profile celebrities, Waters responded, "I don't put any blame on the celebrities that have been photographed by him because they have no way of knowing the truth." However, his shoot with Obama was pretty shocking to her: "You'd think the president would have some sort of team that would tell him that Richardson is a photographer with a very bad reputation." Uh, yeah. 316,000 results come up if you Google "Terry Richardson assault," and not a single person on Obama's team knew about the allegations against him? Really?

"Until people expose what he's really like, how are his clients going to know?" wonders Waters, quite generously. But the problem isn't public ignorance: it's that his clients do know. People have been talking about how fucking disgusting, degrading and disrespectful Richardson is since 2004. If you're a member of the fashion industry, you'd have to impossibly myopic to have missed all of that. So now it's time we start holding magazines and celebrities accountable for employing and palling around with someone who's known for gleefully sexually assaulting multiple women.

It's nothing less than shameful that he's been so successful for so long.

Image via Getty.

Another Model Comes Forward With Horrible Terry Richardson Allegations

Known sexual predator Terry Richardson has had a busy month (all his months are busy because, despite the accounts of multiple women who allege they've been sexually assaulted and harassed by him, he is beloved by the fashion world).

In the past 30 days, he's shot Lady Gaga for Harper's Bazaar, Lea Michele and Jennifer Hudson for V, LeBron James for GQ, Stacy Martin of Nymphomaniac fame for Purple Fashion, and Kate Moss for Lui (Moss link is NSFW). In keeping with his "edgy" style, Lady Gaga, Lea Michele and Kate Moss all have their legs splayed wide open. In the midst of all of this, a former model has shared her account of his vile and exploitative behavior; it's very similar to every other account we've heard, and it's completely horrifying. But the Richardson's steady stream of work with prestigious magazines and celebrities continues unabated, because the fashion industry has been callously ignoring stories like this throughout his entire career.


In a Reddit post, a former model shared her experience "modeling" for Richardson five years ago. She says that she previously didn't feel comfortable discussing what had happened to her, but:

I feel like it is extremely important for me to share my experience for the sake of other young women out there so I'm starting here. I want to not only warn against making the same mistake I did but possibly open up the dialogue about how/and why this sort of thing can happen so easily. Let me preface this by saying I am fully aware that this was bad decision making on my part and that the true purpose of me sharing this is I want people to know what is possible in these situations and that you as a human being are 100% allowed to say no to something you are uncomfortable with and I wish I had the strength to then.

She says that she was 19 at the time and had started doing nude "art" modeling a few months prior. Her experiences doing so were "overall great," and she was "never touched or made to feel like I had to do something out of my comfort zone." With Terry Richardson, though, things were quite different.


When she arrived at his studio, Richardson and his female assistant were casual and friendly. She signed some vague release forms and the shoot began; as it progressed, she alleges, Richardson's behavior grew increasingly inappropriate, then invasive, then completely fucked up — veering into the realm of sexual assault:

I stood there and he started taking pics, assistant off to the side. Then he came up and took pictures POV style with his hand on my face. Then he put his thumb in my mouth, I actually thought this was funny in the moment and he and his assistant were very upbeat and just light heartedly directing me. Then he stepped back at some point and had me start removing my clothes (I knew I would be getting nude, so this was not weird to me). I remember he had me take stuff off in stages, he complimented a lot, his assistant too. Definitely the usual trying to make the barely legal model feel special kind of thing looking back. I honestly do not remember if the sexual stuff started by the wall or when he moved me to the couch area but at some point I was being directed to do things like hold the top of his pants while he took more POV style pictures, then eventually unbutton his pants and then his penis was out. Meanwhile it felt like it was all just happening and there was no time to step back and be like "woah this is out of hand". I dont think anyone who knows me would describe me as a particularly aggressive person (and definitely wasn't at 19) and the only way I can describe how I felt was nervous and paralyzed. At some point the assistant started taking pictures too with a crappy point and shoot camera. He had me posing on the couch and then I had my back to him and just literally felt him start licking my ass, like every part of it, and the assistant was taking pictures the whole time. Things were now completely pornographic and never once initiated by me. He was now on the couch with me and it became sexual act after sexual act, aggressive kissing, random sexual things being done to me and being directed to do everything you can think of back, everything slow so his assistant could photograph. He even directed me to squeeze his balls as hard as I could so that they pushed back up into his body. I did not even know that was possible (At least I learned something about the male anatomy that night?). I was completely a sex puppet at this point. It ended with him jacking off on to my face and he told me to keep my eyes open really wide and his assistant stood over me and it got in my eye and they both began taking pics of it for a what felt like 10 minutes but was probably only 30 seconds...

She says that after the shoot she was "visibly in shock" and "quiet"; Richardson then asked if she had a boyfriend. When she said yes, he began "overly sweetly apologizing":

[H]e said oh I always mean to ask that first I'm so sorry. This was the part that actually bothered me the most because A. I think what had just happened was hitting me and B. it felt so fake and planned and like a slap in the face.

This part of the story is particularly infuriating because it indicates that Richardson is aware that the power dynamic between him — the well-connected, successful, famous photographer — and a 19-year-old model is skewed in such a way that it's easy to coerce an unwilling young woman into acting as a "sex puppet." This is only bolstered by the behavior of his assistant, whom the Reddit user says paid for her cab and "rode halfway with me and sort of comforted me I guess?" The assistant also gave the model "weird advice on how everything we did was ok and how I am clearly a strong girl but i wasn't even asking for advice."

Consent isn't the absence of a forceful no: it's the presence of a yes. And, as is the case in so many of the allegations we've heard about Richardson, there was never a "yes" here — it's already become painfully evident that Richardson is a manipulative predator who's well aware of what he's doing. In the comments, when asked why she didn't leave the second he took his penis out, the poster put it thusly:

I dont know [why I didn't leave]! I think it was fear and a an automatic disconnect happened inside my head or something. It felt like it happened so quickly. Their attitudes were so upbeat and like everything was just you know silly or cool or whatever that the blend from weird to crossing the line was somehow blurred as it happened.

Why is anyone still working with him?

Image via Getty.