In an exclusive letter to Page Six, the New York Post website, fashion photographer Terry Richardson has responded to the claims that he sexually assaulted models on his shoots, which he categorically denies.
The piece comes as Richardson faces numerous accusations of abusing his position of power and trust on photoshoots with models.
One claim came from a former model named Charlotte Waters who at the age of 19 was allegedly sexually assaulted by the photographer, who she says groped and defiled her face.
Waters originally posted the confession on Reddit and then decided to come forward and reveal her identity and also report the incident to the police.
However, as another model has come forward to complain about Richardson, he has decided to rebuke these claims in a letter.
"Four years ago, I chose to primarily ignore a cycle of Internet gossip and false accusations against me. At that time, I felt that to dignify them with a response was a betrayal of my work and my character. When these allegations resurfaced over the past few months, they seemed especially vicious and distorted, moving outside the realm of critical dialogue and becoming nothing more than an emotionally-charged witch hunt."
Further on Richardson says that he always gets models to sign consent forms and that he has "never used an offer of work or a threat of rebuke to coerce someone into something that they did not want to do. I give everyone that I work with enough respect to view them as having ownership of their free will and making their decisions accordingly".
He finishes: "Over the course of my career, I have come to accept that some of my more provocative work courts controversy, and as an artist, I value the discourse that arises from this. I can only hope for this discourse to be informed by fact, so that whether you love my work or hate it, you give it, and me, the benefit of the truth."
Richardson has worked with numerous high-end magazines such as GQ, Vogue and W, to name a few, as well as shooting celebrities, including Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Jared Leto.
You can read the whole of the piece right here.