By now, it’s pretty common knowledge that Terry Richardson is a complete and utter sleazeball. Numerous models like Coco Rocha and Jamie Peck have confirmed that he’s a certified creep and his photos are just plain disturbing, yet he still hangs out with the fashion crowd and lands big jobs. The latest endorsement by the industry comes in the form of model Charlotte Free, who defended Richardson and slammed models who’ve spoken up about his sleazy antics on her Tumblr page. Of course, Free’s rant has been deleted, but as we all know, nothing on the Internet is ever deleted.
An anonymous Tumblr user recently asked Free: “how do you feel about all of the negative accusations against terry richardson?” [sic] Free’s response:
“i love terry’s raw sexuality, it’s one of the things i really admire about him. Terry likes to do sexy stuff, that’s his shit. If you don’t wanna be part of it, make it clear in the beginning. Don’t willingly blow the man and get all mad and ashamed later…I hate when girls say ‘but he asked me to.’ you should have said no then, stupid bitch! there’s plenty of other girls waiting in line, so he’s not forcing you to do shit. When you make a choice you have to live with it — unless someone got you fucked up against your will. Thats how I feel about it.” [sic]
So, how do we feel about Free’s response?
First, there’s a fine line between “raw sexuality” and hands down sleaziness, and there have been more than a few alleged incidents of the latter, like models being pressured into giving Richardson a handjob or letting him play with a tampon, to name a few. Just typing those words out give us goosebumps.
There’s also the part where she calls out
her fellow models “stupid bitches” for not saying no to the photographer. It stands to reason that a young model who hasn’t yet made a name for herself in the industry can be impressionable and liable to do things they otherwise wouldn’t to land a gig — especially one that involves a high-profile photographer like Richardson. Modeling agencies don’t recruit girls who can just be clothing hangers on a runway; they recruit girls who can land editorials and ad campaigns, even if it might include doing gross shit like letting someone play with their tampon. Sounds like someone has — to use Free’s language — got the models f*cked up against their will, doesn’t it?
We should also point out that while Free is completely taking sides with Richardson here, he responded to a similar question in the New York Times last year with a vague and polite: “It’s not nice for all these people to make up stuff about you. The flip side is, I just stopped reading it and I kept working.”
Which is exactly what we’re going to do.