- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Bernstein, 47, recalls meeting with the controversial fashion photographer at his Lower East Side studio for a photo shoot in 2003, but it quickly took a turn when Richardson allegedly positioned her in a chair and started taking photos of her before exposing his penis and forcing himself into her mouth, Berstein told New York Daily News. “It was like literally being shot with a stun gun. My brain just went on pause,” said Bernstein, who added that she “wasn’t drugged, I wasn’t handcuffed.”
Bernstein, who said she was willing to pose topless during the photo shoot, remembered being told Richardson wanted to photograph her portraying a fragrance called “Sex” for an editorial in V magazine, adding that she thought it was a test shoot. During the incident, Richardson also allegedly ejaculated on her chest and then continued to take photos. After the alleged assault, Bernstein said she ran away crying to a pal’s nearby boutique, where she told her friend about the traumatizing event.
Richardson, 52, denied the claims through his lawyer, Brad D. Rose, who issued a statement to Daily News, saying, “Ms. Bernstein knowingly and willingly posed for these photographs and at all times prior to and during the shoot, any contact she had with Mr. Richardson was consensual.”
According to Daily News, a photo of Bernstein’s upper torso was used in Richardson’s 2004 coffee-table book Terryworld. Her face was not shown.
“I’m not a martyr and I’m not a saint, but if I could stop this from happening to one other person, I would be proud, and maybe I could get some kind of closure,” Bernstein said of her decision to share her story.
Richardson, 52, has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by models for many years. Despite the allegations, he has continued to work with titles including V and Dazed, and brands such as Versace and Supreme. He’s also photographed many high-profile figures, including Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Jared Leto. However, Conde Nast International, Valentino and Diesel have all announced that they’re cutting ties with Richardson, following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Berstein’s story comes on the heels of two male models, Mark Ricketson and Jason Boyce, accusing Bruce Weber, another famous fashion photographer, of sexual harassment. Ricketson and Boyce are both being represented by Lisa Bloom.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day