British model Emma Appleton tweeted that she got an outrageous offer for a photo shoot in Vogue from infamous photographer Terry Richardson, a high-profile figure in entertainment circles who’s been dogged in the past by allegations of sexual misconduct.
Appleton, who splits her time between London and Oxford England, denied the request and took part in several Twitter exchanges with followers before deleting the tweets and then deleting her entire account.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Appleton Says Terry Richardson Offered the Shoot in Exchange for Sex
— Melissa Stetten (@MelissaStetten) April 20, 2014
Appleton tweeted a screen grab of this vulgar message, which she said she received on her phone through Facebook.
After tweeting about the offer and engaging in exchanges with some of her followers about it, Appleton deleted the tweets related to the incident and then deleted the account entirely.
You can see the cache of her account here.
Before deleting the account, Appleton also tweeted that she was having second thoughts about the original tweet.
One Minute News has a good recap of Appleton’s social media activity. Watch the video below.
2. Richardson Denies He Sent the Message
A spokesperson for Richardson tells BuzzFeed:
“This is obviously a fake. Terry did not send this text.”
As for Vogue: The magazine isn’t exactly going out of its way to associate itself with Richardson:
"The last assignment Terry Richardson had for US Vogue appeared in the July 2010 issue and we have no plans to work with him in the future"
— Lachlan Cartwright (@LachCartwright) April 21, 2014
3. Richardson Has Been Accused of Egregious Sexual Misconduct in the Past
At least four women have accused Richardson of various forms of sexual misconduct, but he’s never been charged with a crime. Some of the most serious — and disturbing — allegations came from former model Charlotte Waters, who wrote in a since-deleted Reddit post last month that what started as a photo shoot when she was 19 turned into attempted sexual assault when Ricahrdson tried to get her to give him oral sex.
Waters initially posted her story anonymously on Reddit, but later went public with her identity in an extensive interview with Vocative.
Here’s how Waters described Richardson’s behavior during a photo shoot at his studio:
Well his penis is out, and he starts taking pictures of me holding it. And then we moved over to a couch, and he had me pose on it with my back to him, and I literally felt him come over and start licking my ass. In my head I was like, Oh my God, what’s happening? He was just licking away, and his assistant came over and started taking pictures with this little point-and-shoot camera.
Buzzfeed mentions three other models — Jamie Peck, Liskula Cohen and Rie Rasmussen — who have made similar claims. Additionally, model Alise Shoemaker said in the HuffPoLive video featured above that most models who have worked with Richardson have had complaints about his behavior.
4. Richardson Wrote a Blog Post Aimed at ‘Correcting the Rumors’
Richardson wrote a blog post, published in March on the Huffington Post site, that he said was aimed at correcting rumors.
In the post, Richardson wrote that he couldn’t let allegations against him go unchallenged. But he mentions no specific allegations and doesn’t directly refute a single claim.
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, and as such, it has been difficult to see myself as a target of revisionist history.
5. Richardson is Very Well Connected
The photographer counts Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus among his associates, and has consistently gotten premier magazine jobs despite the various allegations against him.
He’s pictured above with Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton at the Jeremy Scott fashion show last September in New York City.