Celebrity Friends Ditch Terry Richardson Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 11.44.23 AMBroadway darling Alan Cumming has apologized for tweeting a picture of himself and Terry Richardson, the racy celebrity photographer who ignited a firestorm of controversy this week after several models came forward to accuse him of sexual assault.

The seedy and alleged non-consensual relationships Richardson shared with several of his models have long been an urban legend on the Internet, even though it’s not that hard to find a plethora of blogs dedicated to posting his disturbing photoshoot outtakes and taking him down.

The allegations against Richardson came to light this week after New York magazine published a profile of him that, according to critics, attempted to downplay the experiences of his victims. On Monday, BuzzFeed published the account of former model Sena Cech, mentioned in the New York piece, who claims she was forced to perform sexual acts on Richardson despite New York‘s assertion that she “was the instigator.”

By the end of the week, The Guardian and Jezebel published two more accounts from models who claimed they were forced to perform sexual acts on Richardson. On Thursday, TMZ revealed that Lady Gaga scrapped her “Do What U Want” video because it simulated rape and —you guessed it — was directed by Terry Richardson:

All this in the same week that notoriously creepy American Apparel CEO Dov Charney was ousted from the company on similar charges, a day before Gawker published disturbing video of him sexually objectifying employees. A week for “Revenge on the Pervs,” as the Daily Beast called it.

On Thursday, Alan Cumming was thrust into the controversy when he tweeted a photo of himself with Richardson, captioned “This is @Terry_World as me, and me as him. We just did a wee shoot for @harpersbazaarus”.

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After an onslaught of negative feedback, Cumming deleted the tweet and offered the following apology: “Wow sorry for offense earlier. I had absolutely no idea about the controversy and feel bad for not having been appraised of it.”

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BuzzFeed notes that this isn’t the first time a Richardson-related tweet has been deleted. In April, Neil Patrick Harris reportedly deleted a tweet hailing his nude photoshoot with Richardson as “so fun.”

As you can see below, it’s not that hard to spot a pattern in Richardson’s work:


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  • jmmartin

    I got the “New York” magazine issue this week but haven’t managed to read the steamy story. One photo from one of the coffee table books of Terry’s photos shows a teenaged Macaulay Culkin, all smiles, obviously taken long before his name became synonymous with heroin addiction. Rumors flew about Macauley’s sexual orientation, and you have to admit he plays gay well if “Party Monster” is any suggestion. Then, of course, the question arises, did Terry have sex with Culkin, too?

  • vinceness

    I am so sick and tired of everyone who is coming down harshly on Terry Richardson. It is no secret that his work is risqué and confrontational so to have these so called “victims” coming forward to claim their innocence is ridiculous. They knew what they were doing and then in hindsight they start feeling guilty after someone criticizes their choices. These women I’m certain aren’t innocent flowers who’ve never had sex so they need to grow up. I find his work amusing and sexy and Terry Richardson is hot!!

  • James Hart

    @vinceness: No one should ever make light of rape, nor should they ever BLAME THE VICTIMS!

  • BSB

    @vinceness: Yes, you’re right, of course. People who have had sex can never be raped or sexually assaulted. The whole thing is ridiculous.

  • abuelo

    These stories come to surface on a regular basis and always seem to be about how much the victim will get and how disgusting the abuser is. The story needs to be about how these situations can be prevented. We need to talk about addressing the harm done to the victim and how to help them. We also need to talk about the abuser and how we can provide justice and treatment for their behavior. We as a society know this stuff happens, what do we need to do to avoid this in the first place. That would be news, not the after the fact scandal show the media wallows in.

  • jamesbradford

    @vinceness: When a person of influence takes advantage of someone over whom they have that influence, it’s predatory. That you assume these victims are lying makes you a victim blamer at best.

  • vinceness

    True rape such as being attacked by a stranger is truly horrifying, however this situation hardly warrants the assumption of such a violent crime. What you have here if we’re clear headed about the situation is a bunch of subpar “models” who want to be the next Kate Moss. They are unrealistic about their true chances of success in the modeling world and jumped at the chance of working with such a noted photographer. When Vogue didn’t come calling all of a sudden they now feel used and abused. Give me a break! These hoes probably give it up for free on a daily basis for a Big Mac and some fries.

  • michael mellor

    Terry Richardson’s photo shoots are gross. They almost verge on soft porn. Never did like him. Of course, he has his fans, usually consisting of dysfunctional gay men who like to be associated with naked females.

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