Not for nothing has Richardson been called a “porny photog/former heroin addict” [Defamer, 2-27-08]. He is also known for “his predatory (at best) to nasty (don’t ask) behavior, including solicitations for Sexy Time shoots and waggling his [penis] about while his assistants shot the un (der) – clothed model shooting him” [Fashiontribes, 3-26-10].
In one article about Richardson [jezebel.com/549634], it notes that “the fashion photographer got naked on set and suggested that she [a model] touch his [penis].” During the shoot, “he was basically walking around in a hipster pedophile costume.” The piece also says that in 2004, Richardson told a model, “I’ll be naked and you take the pictures.” He is also known for “making tampon tea.”
Richardson likes to shoot famous stars, as well as amateurs. “Famed pervert photographer Terry Richardson provides Purple [a fashion magazine] with more coke-y looking pictures, many of which show Lindsay [Lohan] pulling down her panties and squatting, as if to pee” [Gawker, 12-14-01]. Prior to the recent MTV Video Awards, the title of an article about Richardson said, “Lady Gaga Stretches Naked and Dips Butt in Gold Before VMA – Pics, Photos” [GossipCop, 8-26-13]. And, yes, Miley Cyrus was not forgotten, “as she appeared to simulate masturbation in a series of shots by famed photographer Terry Richardson this week” [MailOnline, 8-27-13].
More serious charges have been levied against Richardson. Supermodel Rie Rasmussen accused him of “exploiting young models.” According to an article by Richard Johnson, the bisexual model said, “Richardson used her picture in his ‘Terryworld’ book alongside shots of half-naked young girls depicted as performing sex acts” [New York Post, 3-12-10].
It is worth quoting Rasmussen at length about Richardson: “He takes girls who are young, manipulates them to take their clothes off and takes pictures of them they will be ashamed of. They are too afraid to say no because their agency booked them on the job and are too young to stand up for themselves. His ‘look’ is girls who appear underage, look like heroin addicts (my emphasis). I told him what you do is completely degrading to women. I hope you know you only [bleep] girls because you have a camera, lots of fashion contacts and get your pictures in Vogue.”
Here’s another example of the way Richardson operates. “A Lolita-like campaign for Lee Jeans in Australia has groups down under in an uproar,” said a piece about the “American bad-boy photographer best known for his pornographic-laden work, including for fashion shoots.” The reporter was referring to a billboard photo that “shows a young girl in short, short shorts, and tight, tight unbuttoned-down-to-there top, licking a lollipop” [Kansas City Star, 10-10-06].
It’s not just young girls Richardson takes advantage of—he even exploited his own mentally disabled mother, publishing a picture of the elderly woman naked from the waist up [“Richardson Published Topless Photos of His Disabled Mother,” jezebel.com/5856157]. It just doesn’t get much sicker than this.
Scott Stringer is proud to have Terry Richardson on his team. Which begs the question: What kind of man would choose a person like Richardson?