On Sunday, UK model Emma Appleton posted a screenshot from her phone of a Facebook message notification from Terry Richardson reading, "If i can fuck you i will book you in ny for a shoot for Vogue."
It was another major accusation of sexual misconduct from the photographer. The only problem? That Facebook account was found to be fake.
The New York Post reported on Wednesday that Richardson hired an online forensic expert Theo Yedinsky, who claims to have discovered that the account was set up two weeks ago through a bogus Gmail address.
A representative from Facebook acknowledged that in this case, an account had been reported for violating the site's terms of service and subsequently removed, but couldn't comment any further on the matter. Facebook looks into all accounts which are flagged, either for abusive language or for violating standards of authenticity, and deals with each on a case by case basis; it would not have been possible for a third party to remove the account on his or her own.
That Richardson retained his own "online forensic expert" does seem suspect; Yedinsky works for Social Stream, a social media strategy firm, but it's unclear how he became involved with Richardson or how he would even be able to say for sure that the account was fake based solely on a screenshot.
It does seem incredibly unlikely that Richardson would be so stupid as to sexually proposition a model in such a well-documented way; after all, the issue with allegations related to the photographer always seem to come back to lack of evidence. It's also odd that he would offer a Vogue shoot when he hasn't worked with that particular publication since 2010.
Appleton has removed the photo, acknowledging on her Instagram that she's unsure if the real Richardson in fact messaged her.