- Supermodel Emily Ratajkowski has accused photographer Jonathan Leder of sexual assault
- Ratajkowski said that the photographer pushed his finger inside her without consent
- The photographer has vehemently denied all the allegations
Supermodel Emily Ratajkowski has accused photographer Jonathan Leder of sexually assaulting her during a photoshoot at the latter’s home in New York. She was 20 at the time.
In her essay for the NY Mag, the 29-year-old model-turned-actress detailed how the photographer touched her inappropriately while telling her to pose naked for some pictures. She started her essay by revealing that her agent told her to buy a bus ticket and travel to Catskills, New York to meet with Leder.
The model also shared that she was going to be shooting for a magazine called “Darius” and would have to spend the night with the photographer at his place. According to her agent, she won’t be paid for this shoot, but she’ll get some good “exposure” to start her modeling career.
“In 2012, my agent told me I should buy a bus ticket from Penn Station to the Catskills, where a photographer named Jonathan Leder would pick me up and reimburse me for my fare. We’d shoot in Woodstock, for some arty magazine I’d never heard of called ‘Darius,’ and I’d spend the night at his place, she said. This was something the industry calls an unpaid editorial, meaning it would be printed in the magazine and the 'exposure' would be my reward,” Ratajkowski wrote.
However, the model was surprised to discover that she’ll have to wear a lingerie for the shoot. Ratajkowski also admitted that she wanted to show how mature she was even though she was only 20 years old at the time. Hence, she accepted a glass of red wine that Leder offered her while the makeup artist was setting up her face.
After being photographed in lingerie, the model claimed that the photographer wanted to take some photos of her while being naked.
“The second I dropped my clothes, a part of me disassociated. 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 in her essay.
The model, who said she was “very, very drunk” after drinking multiple glasses of wine with Leder, noted that the lensman put his fingers inside of her without consent while they sat together on a couch after the shoot.
“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. 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,” the model said.
Ratajkowski explained that Leder just walked away without saying anything while she spent the night at his home. She also said that she took a bus home the next morning.
“He stood up abruptly and scurried silently into the darkness up the stairs. I was both confused as to why Jonathan had left without a word and terrified that he would come back,” Ratajkowski wrote in her essay.
As soon as the accusations surfaced online, social media users began congratulating the model for her bravery and noted that this is what women have to go through to make it big in their professional careers.
One user wrote that the essay is a “wave of emotions” and people should take time to read it. “Take some out of your day and read @emrata’s powerful movie essay. It’s a wave of emotions,” @heyykarenc wrote.
Meanwhile, another netizen said that the model has shown “extraordinary courage” by sharing her story.
“@emrata has shown extraordinary courage and strength by sharing her story. This essay is s incredibly written and such a hard, essential read,” @fabsab5 wrote.
"Emily Ratajkowski’s essay is incredibly inspiring, coming from someone who’s been typecasted and just talked about freakishly as if she is a mere object not a full human being with emotions like so many women are. I hope she keeps writing because she’s phenomenal," another netizen commented.
"This is such a chilling read, I felt it deep in my stomach. It shines a light on the ways in which women are objectified and have to fight for ownership of their bodies. Powerful and propulsive @emrata," @s_pettifer wrote.
The photographer has denied the allegations leveled against him and said that Ratajkowski is not a victim.
“ You do know who we are talking about right? This is the girl that was naked in Treats! magazine, and bounced around naked in the Robin Thicke video at that time. You really want someone to believe she was a victim?” Vulture quoted Leder, as saying.
On the other hand, Imperial Publishing, which represents Leder, denied all the allegations and said Ratajkowski is doing all this to gain “publicity,” Page Six reported.
“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 . Of course, Mr. Leder totally denies her outrageous allegations of being ‘assaulted,’” Page Six quoted the company’s rep, as saying.