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Terry Richardson slams sexual misconduct reports

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Mar 14, 2014 | 4:01pm EDT

Celebrity photographer Terry Richardson has slammed reports suggesting he acts inappropriately with his models. The 48 year old, who has worked with Beyonce and Lady Gaga, among other big names, has been accused of sexual misconduct by various models he has worked with, including Jamie Peck and Charlotte Wheeler, and now he is now firing back at the allegations. In a letter obtained by the New York Post, he writes, "Four years ago (when the allegations first surfaced), 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... In writing this, I make a humble attempt at correcting these rumors..." He adds, "I give everyone that I work with enough respect to view them as having ownership of their free will and making their decisions accordingly, and, as such, it has been difficult to see myself as a target of revisionist history... Believing such rumors at face value does a disservice not only to the spirit of artistic endeavor, but most importantly, to the real victims of exploitation and abuse. "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."

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