New allegation: Photographer Terry Richardson sexually assaulted designer in his studio doorway

Lindsay Jones never planned to speak publicly about her experiences with prolific fashion photographer Terry Richardson. The New York City-based designer and model considers herself a private person. She never wanted to harm anyone’s livelihood or hurt her own career or “cause drama” by divulging her story, she says.

But some stories are too important to stay buried forever ― especially at a moment when thousands of accounts, some similar to the one Jones has kept close to her chest, are being excavated.

“I have been sitting there quiet ... for a long time,” Jones told HuffPost. No more.

Jones contacted HuffPost last month to talk about Richardson, famous for shooting the likes of Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lena Dunham, Oprah Winfrey, James Franco, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Jared Leto, Kate Moss and former President Barack Obama. During several phone conversations, Jones recalled how she met the photographer in either 2007 or 2008 for what she thought was a 10 a.m. coffee. She said she ended up leaving his studio in tears after Richardson cornered her, pulled out his penis and assaulted her.

She said she chose to come forward now because she believes it could help other women ― specifically younger women entering the modeling and fashion industry today. Though Jones stressed that the culture of predatory men in fashion includes more than just Richardson, he is certainly emblematic of the problem. The photographer has faced public allegations of sexual misconduct and assault for nearly a decade, but he has denied the abuse accusations and has continued to get work from major brands and publications. 

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Model Jessica Stam (L) and photographer Terry Richardson arrive at the Berlin Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012 in Berlin, July 7, 2011. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (GERMANY - Tags: FASHION) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
Model Lily Cole (L-R), photographer Terry Richardson, Pirelli President Marco Tronchetti Provera and model Meloes Horst pose for photographers during a presentation of the 2010 Pirelli calendar in London November 19, 2009. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN ENTERTAINMENT)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Terry Richardson is seen attending Marc Jacobs during New York Fashion Week wearing a graphic tshirt on September 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 08: Jared Leto (R) and Terry Richardson are seen out in Soho on September 08, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Terry Richardson (R) and guest attend the Jeremy Scott Fashion Show during New York Fashion Week at Spring Studios on September 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Alex Bolotow and Terry Richardson are seen in Soho on June 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23: Valentino CEO Stefano Sassi, Terry Richardson and Alex Bolotow attend the Valentino Resort 2018 Runway Show - After Party on May 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/WireImage,)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 02: Photographer Terry Richardson and WSJ Magazine Editor In Chief Kristina O'Neill attends the WSJ Magazine 2016 Innovator Awards at Museum of Modern Art on November 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine Innovators Awards)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 16: Carine Roitfeld (L) and photographer Terry Richardson attend Brandon Maxwell Fall 2016 New York Fashion Week at Monkey Bar on February 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 03: Jared Leto, Kanye West and Terry Richardson attend the Vogue 95th Anniversary Party on October 3, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Vogue)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Terry Richardson and Jared Leto are seen in soho on May 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 06: Terry Richardson and Jared Leto attend Art Exibibition At Galerie Perrotin as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2015/2016 on March 6, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Michel Dufour/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 05: Actor Jared Leto, Terry Richardson, Emmanuelle Alt and Xavier Romatet attend the Miu Miu show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2014-2015 on March 5, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY) Terry Richardson and Rita Ora attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/VF14/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY) Musician Lady Gaga (L) and photographer Terry Richardson attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/VF14/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY) Terry Richardson and Annie Leibovitz attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/VF14/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 06: Model Gisele B�ndchen and Terry Richardson attend the WSJ. Magazine's 'Innovator Of The Year' Awards 2013 at The Museum of Modern Art on November 6, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 10: (L-R) Photographer Terry Richardson, Ralph Lauren and Editor-in-Chief of 'VOGUE' FRANCE Emmanuelle Alt are seen leaving the 'Bristol' hotel on October 10, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Paris Hilton, Nicky Hilton and photographer Terry Richardson attend the Jeremy Scott show during Spring 2014 MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios on September 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Killian/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Photographer Terry Richardson and actress Kat Graham attend the Jeremy Scott show during Spring 2014 MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios on September 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Killian/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Photographer Terry Richardson (L) and designer Michael Kors backstage at the Michael Kors fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014 at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on September 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Michael Kors)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Photographer Terry Richardson (L) and musician Kanye West attend the Alexander Wang show during Spring 2014 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Pier 94 on September 7, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 04: Fashion designer Charlotte Ronson and photographer Terry Richardson attend the 10th anniversary party of Billionaire Boys Club presented by HTC at Tribeca Canvas on June 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Made With Elastic)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: (L-R) Leigh Lezark, Terry Richardson and Kat Graham attend Jeremy Scott during Fall 2013 MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios on February 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Wendell Teodoro/WireImage)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 07: Photographer Terry Richardson and Kelly Osbourne attend the OHWOW & HTC celebration of the release of 'TERRYWOOD' at The Standard Hotel & Spa on December 7, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for HTC)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 07: Photographer Terry Richardson and Stacy Keibler attend the OHWOW & HTC celebration of the release of 'TERRYWOOD' at The Standard Hotel & Spa on December 7, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for HTC)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Model Jessica Stam (L) and Terry Richardson unveil the Spring 2012 Mercedes-Benz 'Fashion Hot Spot' at The Tent at Lincoln Center on September 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 17: Kate Moss and Terry Richardson attend the Mango new collection launch at Centre Pompidou on May 17, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images)
(L-R) Model Karen Elson and Terry Richardson attend the Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 Collection at N.Y. State Armory on February 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for Marc Jacobs)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - FEBRUARY 18: Justin Timberlake and Terry Richardson attend PARIS 68 Fall 2010 Collection by MARCELLA LINDEBERG at Milk Studios on February 18, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by JONATHON ZIEGLER /Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
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Many of his defenders, (and Richardson himself) reason that the incidents happened during the making of sexually charged art, when lines supposedly get blurred. But Jones’ story is different. In her telling, Richardson assaulted her after she’d barely gotten in the door.

Through his attorney, Lisa M. Buckley, Richardson “adamantly” denied Jones’ allegations. In a letter, Buckley referred to Jones as “an opportunistic publicity seeker” and said her account of the incident is “completely inconsistent with her actions over the ensuing years.” Buckley cited emails sent by Jones in which she asked to model for Richardson, retweets from Jones’ Twitter account and two comments on an Instagram post.

When presented with Buckley’s letter, Jones told HuffPost via text, “It still happened so I’m not [too] alarmed.” Of her wish to work with Richardson after the alleged assault, Jones said, “I was brainwashed into thinking it was good for my career but I feel more empowered now.”

* * *  

Jones said she first met Richardson outside of Balthazar, an expensive and perpetually sceney French restaurant in New York, sometime in 2007. Richardson was with a friend, sitting on a bench outside the restaurant. Jones said they began speaking after he motioned her over and asked where she was from. They talked about Utah ― Jones is from Utah, and Richardson told her he had an ex-girlfriend who grew up there ― and he expressed interest in doing a photo shoot with her. He was already a well-known photographer, and Jones, a longtime model and emerging designer, was intrigued. She gave him her number, and they started texting about scheduling over the following few weeks.

That’s when Jones began to feel nervous. She knew that Richardson did traditional fashion shoots, but she had also seen photos of his that were more risque, even what she considered “vulgar.” Richardson was ― and is ― well known for these hyper-sexualized photos, some of which feature him engaging in sex acts. Jones was wary of the style. She was married at the time to a man she describes as French and “super traditional,” and she was worried that if she was photographed in an explicit way, it would upset her husband. At the time, she had not heard any stories about Richardson being abusive toward the models he worked with.

“I’m very much into art and curating and design,” said Jones. “I’m very much OK with the nude body ... even erotic artwork I like sometimes. But there was an element to this particular artwork that had a real vulgarity to it that I was uncomfortable with.”

So instead of automatically agreeing to work with Richardson, Jones asked if they could meet for coffee to discuss the shoot’s mood. He said yes and told her to come to his Bowery studio (which was also his apartment) on a weekday, around 10 a.m.

As soon as she arrived at the studio, Jones said, things took a dark turn. She said she was cornered almost immediately by Richardson, who had a dog with him.

“He didn’t let me pass the doorway,” she said. “If anything, he more, like, cornered me in the doorway with his dog and told me to get on my knees immediately. No ‘How are you?’ No coffee offered. No ‘Welcome to my office. This is my bedroom. How was your day? Can I take your bag?’ ― nothing. It was only, ‘Get on your knees.’”

Jones was so startled and scared ― a “deer in the headlights,” as she described it ― that she acquiesced and got on her knees. “Now that I’m older, maybe I would have ran out,” she said, engaging in a familiar kind of “what if” mental exercise. “I just didn’t feel very secure.”

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High-profile men accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct
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High-profile men accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein is accused of sexually assaulting or harassing dozens of women, including a number of well-known celebrities, over the past several decades.

(REUTERS/Gus Ruelas)

Matt Lauer was fired from 'Today' after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct that allegedly included giving a co-worker a sex toy and dropping his pants in front of a female employee in his office.

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Actor Jeffrey Tambor has been accused of sexual assault by two women from the Amazon series, "Transparent."  

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Eleven women have come forward accusing President Donald Trump of unwanted touching or kissing. Trump has called the sexual harassment claims 'fake news.'

(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Sen. Al Franken is accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour in 2006.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Director Woody Allen has been accused of sexual assault by his daughter, Dylan Farrow. She says she experienced inappropriate behavior by her adoptive father on several occasions.

(REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)

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Comedian Louis C.K. has been accused of forcing women to watch him masturbate, according to the New York Times.

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Director Bret Ratner has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of making a sexual advance towards him when he was 14 years old.

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Roger Ailes, the former president of Fox News Channel, was accused of sexually harassing former anchor Gretchen Carlson and several other women from the network.

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Several women accused TV host Charlie Rose of sexual misconduct, including groping and lewd phone calls.

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Bill Cosby has faced sexual assault allegations from about 60 women, including several women who claim he drugged them.

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Four women, including several that were also fellow Scientologists, have accused actor Danny Masterson of sexual assault, according to HuffPost.

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Roy Moore faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with underaged girls.

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Bill Clinton faced numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct while he was president of the United States, with accusers including Juanita Broaddrick, who accused him of rape, Kathleen Willey who said he groped her and Paula Jones who said he exposed himself to her without consent.

(Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Actor Casey Affleck settled lawsuits out of court wth two women who accused him of sexual harassment.  

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Bill O'Reilly has reportedly made numerous settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment.

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Anthony Weiner, a former Democratic congressman was sentenced to 21 months in prison in September 2017 after pleading guilty to sexting a teenage girl.

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Veteran journalist Mark Halperin has been accused of sexually harassing women while he worked at ABC News.

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Director Roman Polanski fled the US after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Several other women have also come forward to accuse him of sexual assault.

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Chef John Besh stepped down from the company he founded after female employees reported facing sexual harassment there. 

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Photographer Terry Richardson was labeled the 'Harvey Weinstein of Fashion' by the Sunday Times amid widespread accusations of sexual harassment by models.

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Singer Kesha accused Lukasz Gottwald aka Dr. Luke of drugging and sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions.

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Former champion boxer Mike Tyson was convicted of raping a Miss Black America contestant in 1992. 

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Ben Affleck apologized for acting 'inappropriately' towards Hilarie Burton during an appearance on MTV's "Total Request Live" in 2003.

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Aziz Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct by a woman he went on a date with.

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Actor Ed Westwick was accused by actress Kristina Cohen of raping her in his home.

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David Guillod, producer of 'Atomic Blonde,' is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting several woman.

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Andrew Kreisberg, the showrunner for "Supergirl," was suspended in November 2017 amid numerous sexual harassment allegations by members of his staff.

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Actor Tom Sizemore was reportedly told to leave a film set in 2003 after an 11-year-old actress told her mother that he had touched her genitals.

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Steve Jurvetson left his own venture capital firm after allegations of sexual harassment

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A former model accused George Takei of sexually assaulting him 36 years ago.

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Olympic gold medalist Hope Solo accused former FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexually assaulted her at an award ceremony in 2013.

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A former writer for 'Mad Men' said the show's creator Matthew Weiner told her that she owed it to him to let him see her naked.

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Ron Jeremy has been accused of sexually assaulting more than a dozen women and the allegations span more than 30 years.

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Multiple women accused producer Adam Fields of touching them inappropriately and sexually propositioning them.

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Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has been accused of unwanted sexual advances by former staffers.

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John Lasseter, the head of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, was accused of crossing the line with employees, including unwanted hugs.

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Singer Nick Carter was accused of rape by a former member of the all-girl teen band Dream, Melissa Schuman.

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A singer accused billionaire Richard Branson of sexual assault during an event as his Necker Island in the Caribbean. Branson says he has no recollection of the matter.

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Talent agent Adam Venit is accused of grabbing actor Terry Crews' genitals.

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Jeordie White (aka Twiggy Ramirez), Marilyn Manson former longtime bassist, was accused of rape by singer Jessicka Addams.

(Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage for Bragman Nyman Cafarelli)

Lockhart Steele, Vox Media's editorial director was fired after a former employee accused him of sexual harassment.

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Producer Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein's brother, has also been accused of sexual harassment. 

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Jesse Lacey of  the band, Brand New, was accused of sexual misconduct, including soliciting nude photos from a teen girl in the past.

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Senior Correspondent for E! News Ken Baker California was accused of sexual harassment by two women.

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American film director Oliver Stone was accused of groping model and actress Carrie Stevens in the 1990s.

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Veteran radio host Garrison Keillor was fired by Minnesota Public Radio following claim of improper behavior.

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CNN producer Teddy Davis was fired after multiple accusations of harassment.

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Harold Ford, Jr.

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PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley's show was suspended amid misconduct allegations made against him.

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Sen. Jeff Klein (D-New York), was accused of forcibly kissing a former female staffer back in 2015. 

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Ross Levinsohn, Los Angeles Times CEO and publisher, has reportedly been a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits and would rate the "hotness" of his female colleagues, according to a report by NPR.

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A woman accused magician David Copperfield of drugging, sexually assaulting her when she was teen model in the 80s, according to The Wrap.

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James Franco was accused by several women of sexually inappropriate behavior. He was also criticized for wearing a "Time's Up" pin to the Golden Globes hours before the accusations against him surfaced.

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Barry Lubin, also known as Grandma the clown, resigned from Big Apple Circus after admitting to pressuring a 16-year-old girl into posing for pornographic photos in 2004.

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Arizona Wildcats head football coach Rich Rodriguez was fired amid troubling off-field allegations. His former administrative assistant says Rodriguez inappropriately grabbed and touched her. 

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President Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was accused of sexual assault by pro-Trump singer Joy Villa. She claims he hit her on the buttocks during an event at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

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Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of peple. The Wall Street Journal the casino mogul regularly pressured employees to perform sex acts.

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Music exec and 'The Four' judge Charlie Walk was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee. Life Lab founder Tristan Coopersmith penned an open letter about Walk in January claiming he sent her lewd comment and cornered her in the bedroom he shared with his wife.

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Several women filed sexual harassment complaints against Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle, according to the Washington Post.

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Actor Scott Baio, was accused of molesting is former 'Charles in Charge' co-star Nicole Eggert when she was a minor.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

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Once Jones was on her knees, she said, Richardson pulled out his penis and told her to “suck his dick.”She told HuffPost that he then attempted to force his penis into her eye socket. He did this with such force that Jones remembers thinking that he might have given her a black eye. “I just wanted it to be over so I could leave,” she said, later adding: “He kind of turned me into ... [in] that moment I was at his disposal, as a commodity.” 

Richardson eventually masturbated to completion, said Jones, ejaculating inher mouthafter ordering her to “swallow it like a good girl.” After the assault, Jones said, Richardson immediately told her to leave his apartment, directing her to pull up her low-riding pants on her way out. (She remained clothed during the assault.) Richardson never even brought up the photo shoot they were supposed to discuss.  

“He was like, ‘You need to leave. I have a meeting. Pull your pants up,’” said Jones. Despite rarely crying before that, Jones remembers leaving the studio in tears, walking down to Canal Street and weeping on the sidewalk.  

Over the following five weeks, Jones said, Richardson would text her sexually explicit requests, asking her again to “suck his dick.” After the fifth text, she responded “no” and deleted his number. She said she deleted the texts, too. 

Jones’ experience with Richardson bears similarities to allegations made by other women against the photographer. In 2010, model Jamie Peck accused Richardson of getting naked during a photoshoot and telling her to touch his penis. In 2014, Anna del Gaizo accused the photographer of pressing his penis repeatedly into the side of her face during a photoshoot, and model Sena Cech described a “revolting and humiliating” professional experience during which, she said, Richardson’s assistant asked her “to grab his penis and twist it really hard.”

Despite the wide airing given these stories over the past several years, only in the last few months has Richardson begun to face lasting consequences. In October, both Condé Nast and Hearst cut ties with the photographer. (Richardson had reportedly already shot the January 2018 cover of Elle magazine.) Diesel dropped him, as did Valentino and Bulgari. (Other brands, including H&M, vowed to stop working with the photographer back in 2013.) But Richardson has continued to associate himself with smaller publications, such as Document Journal, Purple Magazine and CR Fashion Book (former Vogue Paris Editor-in-Chief Carine Roitfeld’s magazine) as recently as October. HuffPost contacted all three publications to ask if they planned to work with Richardson in the future and received no response.

The photographer also maintains representation through Art Partner and an ongoing relationship with Galerie Perrotin in New York and Paris. Perrotin did not respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment. 

* * *

In the immediate aftermath, Jones said, she kept the incident to herself and never considered reporting it to the police or her agency. After all, she still worked in the fashion industry ― an industry in which Richardson was a known, powerful entity.

This reaction is a fairly common one. According to a 2012 report put out by The Model Alliance, 86.8 percent of models reported having been asked to pose nude without advance notice, nearly 30 percent of models said they had experienced inappropriate touching on the job and 28 percent said they had been pressured to have sex with someone at work. Most of these models said they hadn’t reported these incidents to anyone ― in part because they didn’t believe their agencies would be responsive or even see an issue.

Eventually though, Jones did confide in someone: her best friend, musician and model Sibyl Buck.

Buck confirmed to HuffPost that she and Jones discussed the incident several times over the years, and she recalled their first conversation happening around 2008. “What really struck me as so repulsive is that she described how he was abusive with his dick,” Buck said. She also told HuffPost that“everybody knew” in the fashion industry the stories of Richardson’s abusive behavior ― though before Jones confided in her, Buck had only heard generalized accounts about the photographer.

Jones said she has interacted with Richardson only once since the “coffee meeting.” In September 2013, she was hired to model for the Diesel Playboy calendar, which Richardson was shooting. She grappled with whether to take the job but eventually decided to, feeling it was a smart career move. (More well-known models, such as Stella Maxwell, participated.) She also assumed there would be a large production team, which meant Richardson would probably behave. (“Around celebrities he doesn’t act the same way,” said Jones.)

When she got to the shoot, Richardson introduced himself as though they had never met. At some point, they discussed Utah again, and Jones remembers Richardson talking about his father.

“I can see why people like him,” said Jones. “I’m sure he has this really great, charismatic, creative side. It’s just that he still did the other thing.”

Jones has spoken about her interactions with Richardson to a handful of people besides Buck. In October 2014, she did a shoot with a prominent filmmaker who was researching the worst things that have happened to people living in New York. The filmmaker, who prefers to remain anonymous, asked Jones on camera about her worst day. She told him about that morning with Richardson, later naming her attacker off-camera. The footage was never used in a film, but it still exists. The filmmaker confirmed the date and existence of the footage, as well as Jones’ account of her experience with Richardson to HuffPost.

* * *

Even as allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault have piled up against Richardson over the past decade, he’s continued to find work and success in his industry. Buck believes he’s remained somewhat untouchable because of his status as a boundary-pushing artist. 

Artists are traditionally allowed to be whatever weird way that makes them able to make the art that people appreciate,” said Buck. “He’s not an executive. He’s not someone that people are entrusting millions of dollars to. He’s someone that people hire to do what he does. And what he does is this creepy version of fashion.”

Jones’ traumatic experience with Richardson, as well as a subsequent incident with another photographer that she declined to discuss, left her permanently cautious around male photographers.

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Terry Richardson during Visionaire Magazine Party Sponsored by Contour Photos at Canal Room in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Djamilla Rosa Cochran/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10: Artist Terry Richardson and his girlfriend Alex Bolotow attend the Terry Richardson Gallery opening at Deitch September 10, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Teresa Lee/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 9: (U.S. TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Photographer Terry Richardson attends 'The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou' premiere after party at Roseland Ballroom December 9, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 06: Terry Richardson attends the Imitation Of Christ Party For Drew barrymore during the Olympus Fashion Week February 6, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 08: Artist Terry Richardson attends the Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2005 show during Olympus Fashion Week at the Lexington Avenue Armory February 8, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
Terry Richardson during Olympus Fashion Week Spring 2007 - Marc Jacobs - Front Row and Backstage at New York State Armory in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for Marc Jacobs)
Terry Richardson during Tom Ford Unveils His New Fragrance 'Tom Ford Black Orchid' - After Party - Arrivals at Top of the Rock in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage for PMK / HBH)
Terry Richardson during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2007 - Marc Jacobs - Arrivals at New York State Armory in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)
Terry Richardson (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
Terry Richardson (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10: Terry Richardson attends the Marc By Marc Jacobs 2008 Fashion Show after party during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2008 on September 10, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
NEW YORK - JUNE 01: Photographer Terry Richardson attends the Calvin Klein Collection and Visionaire 56 Solar launch at The Standard Hotel on June 1, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 19: Photographer Terry Richardson seen around Bryant Park during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2009 on February 19, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/WireImage)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 09: Terry Richardson attends a CHANEL dinner in honor of Vanessa Paradis for Rouge COCO at The Mark Hotel on February 9, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for CHANEL)
PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 30: Terry Richardson arrives at Colette Shop at Colette on September 30, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by David Wolff - Patrick/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 04: Terry Richardson and actor Jared Leto arrive for the Chanel Ready to Wear Spring / Summer 2012 show during Paris Fashion Week at Grand Palais on October 4, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Photographer Terry Richardson attends Terry Richardson's 'Mom Dad' exhibition opening at Half Gallery on November 11, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Marc Stamas/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20: Photographer Terry Richardson attends The Cinema Society With The Hollywood Reporter & Piaget And Disaronno screening Of 'To Rome With Love at the Paris Theatre on June 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Photographer Terry Richardson arrives at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower on February 26, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 07: Photographer Terry Richardson and Pharrell Williams attend the OHWOW & HTC celebration of the release of 'TERRYWOOD' at The Standard Hotel & Spa on December 7, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for HTC)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Photographer Terry Richardson attends the Proenza Schouler fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on February 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Photographer Terry Richardson and singer Kat Graham attend the Jeremy Scott fall 2013 fashion show during MADE fashion week at Milk Studios on February 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Paris Hilton, Nicky Hilton and photographer Terry Richardson attend the Jeremy Scott show during Spring 2014 MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios on September 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Killian/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 17: Photographe Terry Richardson is seen Biking in Soho on September 17, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 04: Photographer Terry Richardson attends Pharrell Williams' SpongeBob-themed 41st birthday party at Bikini Bottom at Cipriani, Wall Street on April 4, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
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“I would warn the whole of the world: I would not enter a photographer’s studio unless there is a huge team there,” she said. “I’m a little PTSD, probably, but I never feel safe entering anyone’s apartment alone ever anymore. I carry pepper spray. I don’t like to enter apartments unless there’s a whole team with a creative director and a call sheet with very top-level production. I won’t go to someone’s house and talk to them about a shoot unless they’re a friend I’ve known for a very long time. Even if they have notoriety ― because a lot of the time, when they have notoriety it’s even worse.” 

I’m a little PTSD, probably, but I never feel safe entering anyone’s apartment alone ever anymore. I carry pepper spray.Lindsay Jones

Jones stressed that, while the story she is sharing now is about Richardson, she believes the fashion industry’s problem with predatory behavior extends further.

“For straight, male photographers ― and a lot of them I love to work with, a lot of them are great ― I do feel like there’s a trend,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of it ― these kind of ‘photo guys’ in action. And, like I said, it’s a much bigger problem than just Terry. A lot of the top people, and everyone under them too.”

The founder of The Model Alliance, Sara Ziff, agrees with this assessment. Ziff, who began modeling when she was 14 years old, saw firsthand the conditions that leave models “uniquely vulnerable” to sexual harassment and abuse.

In the modeling industry, the labor force skews young and female. (A 2012 Model Alliance report found that the majority of models begin their careers from ages 13 to 16.) And because models are often considered independent contractors, these young women and men aren’t afforded the same protections against sexual harassment in the workplace that full-time employees receive under federal law. It is common practice for modeling agencies to consider themselves management companies rather than employment agencies, which critics say allows these agencies to avoid being accountable for models’ safety, as well as to escape licensing requirements and sidestep commission limits. Moreover, the industry’s convoluted system ― in which clients usually book models through agencies, agencies usually cut the checks to the models, but then the models are typically not considered employees of the agencies or the clients ― means that models can simply slip through the cracks of labor laws.  

Ziff is currently working with New York State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic to pass the Models Harassment Protection Act, which would formally extend workplace protections against sexual harassment to models. Ziff and The Model Alliance feel so strongly about closing the legal loopholes because they believe sexual harassment is widespread.

“[Models] are working in what is often a very predatory environment,” said Ziff. “They’re working with much older male photographers. Often they’re being put on the spot to pose nude or semi-nude with absolutely no warning.”

Agencies often tell models that they don’t have to do anything that they don’t want to do, that they should simply walk away or call their agent if they feel uncomfortable during a shoot. But Ziff pointed out that’s often easier said than done, especially when models are dealing with industry power brokers like Terry Richardson, who can make or break their careers. That’s why one of the first things Ziff did when she launched The Model Alliance in 2012 was to set up a grievance reporting service for models. More than five years later, Ziff said, she gets questions and complaints nearly every day.

Through their reporting service, The Model Alliance advises models and connects them with the necessary support services and legal resources. Ziff usually recommends that models pursue channels of recourse that don’t involve the press; however, she also believes that “sunlight is the best disinfectant, and as people have been raising awareness on social media and speaking out to reporters, it’s been harder and harder for the industry to ignore.” 

* * *

Jones knows that there will be people who will question why she waited 10 years to come forward with her story. For years she was afraid to stir up drama or cause irrevocable harm to her career. But in 2017, she’s older and more independent, no longer convinced that her livelihood requires the buy-in of powerful men.

Terry Richardson “may be more powerful than me in the industry, but he doesn’t have that power over me anymore,” Jones said. “Whatever it was in my younger, more docile, aspiring, youthful self that I thought I needed from [powerful men] or the industry or their approval that I accept[ed] this treatment as part of the way it is, I don’t believe that anymore.”  

Part of what pushed Jones to come forward now is the feeling that the culture is shifting, too. Millions have shared their #MeToo stories on social media. The “Silence Breakers” are Time’s Person of the Year. After a decade of worrying that speaking up might cost her her career, Jones thinks people might be ready to listen.

“What’s happening right now is some kind of movement. There is some kind of strength in numbers,” Jones said. “Maybe it can make a ping of a difference in the world in a positive way eventually if we start to stand up for ourselves a little bit. So I guess that’s the real hope.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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