Fashion Photographer Terry Richardson Accused of Sexual Assault in New Lawsuit

While Mr. Richardson was photographing Ms. Portillo topless, the model contends that the photographer began posing with her, touching her breasts and pressing his exposed penis up against her body; eventually Mr. Richardson “forcibly inserted his penis into her mouth, and ordered her to perform oral sex on him,” while she repeatedly said “no.” According to Ms. Portillo, the alleged assault was photographed by Mr. Richardson’s employees.

Ms. Portillo returned the next day; while she was “deeply upset about the assault,” according to the lawsuit, she was also “fearful that she would lose her job with Trump Model Management, professional opportunities, or even the agency’s support of her visa if she rejected the job.” On the second day, according to the lawsuit, Mr. Richardson once again “commanded her to perform oral sex on him,” while his employees took photographs, this time while they rode together in a van.

The experience traumatized her, according to the lawsuit, and Ms. Portillo returned to Spain about a week later.

That fall, some of the photographs of Ms. Portillo were included in an exhibition titled “Terry Richardson: Terryworld,” and in 2006 were published in a book, “Kibosh,” despite a 2005 cease-and-desist letter from Ms. Portillo, who claimed she was dropped by a Spanish modeling agency because of the explicit images.

Ms. Portillo said she did not consent to the distribution or sale of Mr. Richardson’s photos. She had signed an undated release at his studio after the first photo shoot, but given her state of mind and that English wasn’t her first language, “did not know what she was signing,” according to the lawsuit. (Modeling agencies typically handle such paperwork.)

“Enduring sexual assault is one of the worst things that could have possibly happened to her, but then to have images of it captured forever and circulated on the internet and sold for profit — it just really altered the trajectory of her career and her life,” said her lawyer, Ms. Guentert.