As was rumored, Terry Richardson is the subject of New York Magazine's latest cover story. In the very lengthy article, written by Benjamin Wallace and titled, "Is Terry Richardson an Artist or Predator?" Richardson addresses the ongoing onslaught of accusations (and even lawsuits) brought upon him by former models that he's worked with.
In response to Emma Appleton alleging she was offered a Vogue shoot for sex, via a Facebook message from Richardson (an interaction which was already confirmed to be fake):
"'I’ll put you in Vogue,' Richardson, in his studio, said bitterly. 'So corny. Ridiculous. Who talks like that? When people call me a pedophile and fucking bullshit, that’s a horrible thing to say about someone.'"
He adds that he was never alone with these girls:
“It was never just me and a girl ever,” Richardson told me at his studio. “It was always assistants, or other people around, or girls brought friends over to hang out. It was very daytime, no drugs, no alcohol. It was a happening, there was energy, it was fun, it was exciting, making these strong images, and that’s what it was. People collaborating and exploring sexuality and taking pictures.”
And he doesn't have any regrets:
“I don’t have any regrets about the work at all,” he tells me, “but obviously I don’t ever want someone to feel like that. It was never my intention. But also, people do things, and then they have regrets, and that’s also nothing to do with me. Then don’t do pictures like that again … I’m okay with myself about everything, and that to me is the most important thing.”
Though, aside from insisting, as he has done before, that these sexual explorations were consensual, a position corroborated by his assistant Alex Bolotow, he doesn't deny that they occurred. Of a photo of herself giving Richardson oral sex with the word "SLUT" written on her forehead, Bolotow says: "I love that picture. I’m always like, 'I look so hot in that picture.' The whole setup was even my idea; that was the full comedy of it. I think we had a friend coming over, and I was like, 'You know what would be so funny? If they walked in the door, and I was sucking your dick, and I’d just written slut on my forehead.'"
Quotes from him and some of his supporters (Bolotow, Jared Leto) are interspersed with details about his upbringing -- which was tumultuous to say the least -- perhaps meant to explain why Richardson is the way he is.
If the profile was meant to prove Richardson's innocence, we're pretty unconvinced, though we did learn a lot about his life beyond the scandal. You can read it all here.