Trouble started for Richardson during Paris Fashion Week when model Rie Rasmussen accused him of exploiting young models and taking pictures that degrade women. Since then other models have come forward, many anonymously, with stories about the questionable behaviour of the photographer who descibes himself as the man 'who took 1970s porn aesthetic and made it fashion chic.' Rumours range from him insisting on being called 'Uncle Terry' to stripping off himself and getting models to take photos of him on shoots.
But there have been voices of support within the industry too. Model Noot Seaar, for example, says 'Terry's a really cool guy. It's not like he pressures you into doing anything you're not comfortable with.'
Now Richardson has decided to have his say. He posted a statment on his blog this weekend saying 'I just want to take a moment to say I’m really hurt by the recent and false allegations of insensitivity and misconduct. I feel fortunate to work with so many extraordinary people each and every day. I’ve always been considerate and respectful of the people I photograph and I view what I do as a real collaboration between myself and the people in front of the camera. To everyone who has embraced and supported me and my work, I am so grateful. Thank you, it means a lot.'
One look at Terry's photos is enough to see that his signature style is provocative and overtly sexual, and that of course is what has earned him such success within the industry. It simply remains to be seen whether all the controversy will damage his career. Or, given that in the fashion industry no publicity is bad publicity, will it give him and his image a boost?