The photographer Terry Richardson has been the subject of abuse allegations for many years. He has worked with prominent musicians such as Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus, though accusers (often models) cite incidents from 2001 onwards. Conde Nast—the publisher of titles like Vogue, GQ, and Vanity Fair—recently severed ties with him, following an outpouring of action against alleged abusers in the wake of more than 50 accusations levelled against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Musician Tori Amos, a supporter of the US charity RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network), was recently photographed by Richardson for a Cult Icons spread in V magazine. Having become aware of the many claims of abuse against him, however, she has since released a statement explaining that she was unaware of them before she worked with him. On Facebook, she wrote:
For the upcoming edition of V Magazine, I along with others took part in a photo shoot for their Cult Icons portfolio. The magazine had commissioned the photographer Terry Richardson to take these shots.
At the time, I was not aware of the various accusations made against Richardson, had I been I would never have taken part. I am disgusted by the nature of the allegations and can only stand strong with the women who were subjected to this abuse over the years.
As the first spokesperson and longtime supporter of RAINN, the Rape Abuse And Incest National Network, I can only hope that we all continue to speak out and break the silence about these kinds of abuses and stand strong together against these predators and those who support them.
She is not the only female musician to have spoken about having worked with Richardson this week. In an interview with the Guardian released on Thursday, Rita Ora was asked about her decision to shoot with him. She responded similarly to Amos, stating that she'd have reconsidered if she had been aware of the accusations leveled against him:
I loved his collection of photography, I loved his book with Lady Gaga, the shoot was my choice and it was totally my suggestion. I can only talk about my experience of working with him: it was a relaxed day and I had the time of my life. At the time, I wasn't aware of the accusations. If I was aware of any of the accusations against Terry I would of course have rethought my decision.
Richardson has not responded to Amos or Ora's statements, but, as per the Independent, a spokesperson did comment on Conde Nast's choice to no longer work with him:
He is an artist who has been known for his sexually explicit work so many of his professional interactions with subjects were sexual and explicit in nature but all of the subjects of his work participated consensually.
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