Terry Richardson Named in Another Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Terry Richardson Named in Another Sexual Assault Lawsuit

As New York's landmark Adult Survivors Act nears expiration, former model and actress Caron Bernstein has stepped forward to accuse celebrity photographer Terry Richardson of sexual assault. Filed before the Thanksgiving deadline, Bernstein's lawsuit alleges Richardson exploited a 2003 photo shoot proposal to coerce her into unwanted oral sex acts.

Per the complaint submitted to the New York Supreme Court, Bernstein was "lured" to Richardson's studio under the auspices of a professional modeling job. However, rather than conducting a legitimate session, Richardson allegedly "held Bernstein's head and forced his erect penis into and out of her mouth repeatedly and then ejaculated his semen on her neck, chest, and breasts." The lawsuit says at no time was consent given or implied. 

The suit also contends Richardson further victimized Bernstein by publishing explicit photos of the assault without permission in his book "Kibosh" and displaying large prints of the images in a 2004 art exhibition entitled "Terryworld." This distribution of visual materials documenting the traumatic encounter deepened Bernstein's trauma, according to the filing.

Bernstein's case emerges amidst a wave of sexual assault allegations against famous figures submitted just before New York's one-year window established by the Adult Survivors Act expires. Former model Minerva Portillo levied similar complaints of exploitation against Richardson, stating he drugged and groped her during a photoshoot.

Richardson has faced ongoing accusations of sexual misconduct spanning decades. His provocative photography aesthetic frequently features full nudity and simulated sex acts many consider to cross ethical lines. 

While a handful of publications like Condé Nast instituted bans on Richardson after increased scrutiny of predatory behavior in fashion circles, many insiders continue working closely alongside the celebrity photographer nonetheless. For victims like Bernstein feeling newly empowered to demand accountability though legal recourse, their claims contest notions Richardson simply produces edgy "art."

Raising her voice alongside others in a showing of solidarity, Bernstein underscores that survivors refuse to be complicit or silenced any longer. With the Adult Survivors Act window enabling civil action otherwise barred by legal deadlines, scores of victims are seizing the moment to name high-profile perpetrators, with Richardson now among the accused (again). 

Lead image by Dave Tada, used under Creative Commons.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Uncle Terry. What a guy.

Another shakedown

WTF do you mean A AA? You condone his rape?

Has she been in a coma for 20 years?