Model Emily Ratajkowski has accused photographer Jonathan Leder of sexual assault. Ratajkowski published an essay for New York Magazine that was published on Tuesday in which she claimed that Leder sexually assaulted her in 2012. Leder has denied these allegations.
Ratajkowski wrote that in 2012, her then-agent had her travel to Leder's home in the Catskills for a photoshoot for a magazine called Darius, per Page Six. The trip required an overnight stay at Leder's residence. The model, who was 20 years old at the time, wrote that she was surprised to discover that she would be modeling lingerie during this shoot. She also claimed that Leder offered her red wine throughout the evening, which she accepted in an attempt to appear mature. "I'd been taught that it was important to earn a reputation as hardworking and easygoing," she wrote. "'You never know who they'll be shooting with next!' my agent would remind me." Ratajkowski claims that Leder then asked her to remove the lingerie so that he could shoot her in the nude.
"The second I dropped my clothes, a part of me disassociated," she wrote. "I began to float outside of myself, watching as I climbed back onto the bed. I arched my back and pursed my lips, fixating on the idea of how I might look through his camera lens. Its flash was so bright and I'd had so much wine that giant black spots were expanding and floating in front of my eyes." Ratajkowski wrote that the makeup artist who was present for the shoot later went to bed. The model expressed that she felt awake at that time but "very, very drunk." She wrote that she and Leder were huddled under a blanket together and he then sexually assaulted her.
"Most of what came next was a blur except for the feeling. I don't remember kissing, but I do remember his fingers suddenly being inside of me," Ratajkowski claimed. "Harder and harder and pushing and pushing like no one had touched me before or has touched me since. I could feel the shape of myself and my ridges, and it really, really hurt. I brought my hand instinctively to his wrist and pulled his fingers out of me with force. I didn't say a word. He stood up abruptly and scurried silently into the darkness up the stairs." She wrote that she then went to bed and caught a train home the next morning. Ratajkowski went on to write that years after this alleged incident, the photos that Leder took were being published in a book. Although, Ratajkowski claimed that Leder and Imperial Publishing had no right to use the images outside of the magazine for which they were intended (these photos were also showcased in an art gallery exhibition). Ratajkowski maintains that neither she nor her then-agent signed a release for these photos. Although, Leder claims that there was a release signed.
In response to these allegations, Imperial Publishing, which represents Leder, denied these claims. "We are all deeply disturbed to read Ms. Ratajkowski's latest (false) statements to NY Mag in her never-ending search for press and publicity," the company's rep said. "Of course Mr. Leder totally denies her outrageous allegations of being 'assaulted.' It is grotesque and sad that she is so vindictive to lie in such a way to the press routinely."