Charlotte Waters was a 19-year-old art student when she got the chance to work with notorious photographer Terry Richardson, but said instead the experience turned into a nightmare of sexual assault and degradation.
Waters had originally written a post about the incident on Reddit in early March, a detailed account of abuse that was later deleted. Under the username amaheygirlhey, the then-anonymous Waters wrote that Terry Richardson gave her increasingly sexual demands during their photo shoot in 2009.
Eventually the shoot turned into an unwanted sexual encounter, she wrote (WARNING: some details are graphic):
“I honestly do not remember if the sexual stuff started by the wall or when he moved me to the couch area but at some point I was being directed to do things like hold the top of his pants while he took more POV style pictures, then eventually unbutton his pants and then his penis was out….
“Things were now completely pornographic and never once initiated by me. He was now on the couch with me and it became sexual act after sexual act, aggressive kissing, random sexual things being done to me and being directed to do everything you can think of back, everything slow so his assistant could photograph.”
She claimed that the encounter ended by Terry Richardson ejaculating onto her face.
The accusation garnered headlines across the internet. The 48-year-old photographer is known for his controversial sessions, and has turned out some high-profit work like Miley Cyrus straddling a wrecking ball while completely naked and Lindsay Lohan with a gun in her mouth.
Charlotte Waters, now 24 and working as a nurse’s assistant in Los Angeles, decided to come out from behind her anonyous username to give more details about the incident. In a lengthy interview with Vocativ, she said that once Richardson took off his own pants, she felt powerless to leave.
“I felt like I was already in it to the point that I couldn’t get out, which sounds kind of crazy, but I had the mentality of 19-year-old,” she said. “Even just talking about it makes me start to feel the way I felt then, which was just completely paralyzed and freaked out.”
Charlotte Waters said Richardson had a “goofy” demeanor, but made sexual requests and asked her to perform oral sex on him. After the incident ended he asked if she had a boyfriend, to which Waters replied that she did. Richardson then apologized, she said.
Waters said that when she left, Richardson’s assistant followed her.
“She kept telling me that I was a really strong girl, and that I’m really cool, and that it’s so good that I can handle that sort of thing. Looking back it was obviously her attempt to make me feel like what I did was a good thing and what happened wasn’t bad,” Waters said. “I was just sitting there quietly letting her talk to me, and then she got out about halfway on my way to Brooklyn.”
Charlotte Waters said after the incident she was hesitant to file charges against Terry Richardson because she did not resist. Waters added that in the past few days she finally did decide to go to the NYPD, but was told that it wasn’t a crime because she “never said no.”