Photo: Via @EmmaJAppleton/Twitter.
According to an Instagram image screengrab by Emma Appleton, a UK-based model signed to the D1 Modeling Agency, Terry Richardson is trading sex for a spot in Vogue.
Without considering her contractual obligations, if Appleton consented to this text-based offer (she didn't), there would be nothing illegal about the interaction. But, that doesn't stop it from being predatory and chill-inducing.
On her Twitter, Appleton said she flat out told Richardson, "No, I'm not your girl," and then later commented that she would "...rather stay at the same point I am now than sell myself." In response to arguments that she's in the wrong industry, Appleton shot back with the tweet: "I've been modelling for 5 years and I've never had this before, it doesn't make it okay."
Regardless of the way in which this interaction went down, there is a problem here. A problem that surfaces when you have individuals in power who aren't managed and held accountable for their actions. Sadly, navigating the nebulous space between outright harassment and inappropriate behavior is never easy, but neither should ever be present in a professional situation. It's unfortunate that despite the increasing number of creepy stories and similar-sounding allegations, publications and companies aren't reconsidering their decision to hire Richardson, especially when he apparently is using their name in his machinations.
It appears Emma has deleted the photo from her Instagram (where she added a comment calling to kick him out of the industry), but it remains on Twitter. She remarked, "Beginning to wish I hadn't posted that...it doesn't matter who you are or the what the industry is, just be a decent human being," and then added, "The fact people think this is acceptable blows my fucking mind. See ya." Twitter, however, is filled with messages of support, comments saying she faked it, and Tweets suggesting that, hey, Terry is Terry. Which, it goes without saying, is completely unacceptable.
As of this morning, Emma's Twitter is down, and she has said she doesn't want harassment or attention, just for the story to get out. A spokesperson for Vogue has said that Richardson has no upcoming contracts with the magazine, and a spokesperson for Richardson has said the message is clearly a fake. Perhaps the industry backlash has begun? Perhaps this was a fabricated story? Only one thing is for certain: Something about this man makes the women who work with him incredibly uncomfortable.