For the second time this week, a civil complaint has been filed against photographer Terry Richardson by a former model who has alleged sexual misconduct.
In the filing in the Supreme Court in the State of New York, attorneys for Caron Bernstein have alleged battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and gender-motivated violence.
Representatives for Richardson at his New York City studio, as well as ones at Art Partner, the agency that he works with, and the gallery Perrotin did not acknowledge requests for comment Friday.
Bernstein was not doing interviews at this time, The Bear Firm’s Albert Santoro said.
In an unsolicited email, Santoro notified WWD of Bernstein’s action Thursday night. Bernstein’s legal action was sparked by media coverage of the filing from another former model, Minerva Portillo, against Richardson earlier this week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Portillo had alleged battery, emotional distress, negligence and gender-motivated violence against Richardson and the now-shuttered Trump Model Management.
Santoro said Bernstein had spent Thanksgiving with her lawyers to file before the expiration of the New York Survivors Act. He said via email that Bernstein was “humbled and inspired by Portillo’s courage and bravery and wanted to stand shoulder to shoulder with the other victims.” Signed last November by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, that legislation provided a one-year look-back window for survivors of sexual assault that occurred when they were 18 or older to sue their abusers regardless of when the abuse occurred.
As was the case with Portillo’s legal action, Bernstein is also requesting a jury trial.
Bernstein claimed that one day “in or around” the summer of 2003, Bernstein was “lured” to Richardson’s Studio with an offer of appearing in a fragrance advertisement campaign by Johnny Zander, an affiliate of Richardson’s. The filing states that Zander allegedly told the model that the photographer was a fan of hers, and wanted to photograph her for an editorial shoot for V magazine.
Bernstein alleged that Richardson told her that the name of the fragrance was “Sex” and that he wanted to take “sexy” photographs of her. She claimed in the filing that she did not “execute any model release for any and all photographs taken by Richardson that day.”
The filing claims that V Magazine “has denied that Richardson was engaged by them to shoot any such photo shoot for any such editorial or for any such fragrance campaign.” Bernstein has claimed that Richardson sexually assaulted her and forced her into sodomy while five to eight men were present. She also claimed that Richardson used a point-and-shoot camera to photograph himself while that was allegedly happening.
Bernstein also alleged that photographs of the alleged sexual assault were published in various books, art shows, sites and the art exhibition titled “Terry Richardson: Terryworld.”
Bernstein said the experience with Richardson harmed her professional career and caused “emotional and psychological pain and suffering,” as well as marital strife with her then husband.
Santoro claimed there was an investigation at one point, but that it was deemed “he-said-she-said,” and could not specify when that was or which district attorney led it. Bernstein now works as an artist and entrepreneur.
Separately, two other high-profile creatives — designer and music mogul Sean Combs and music executive Jimmy Iovine — are dealing with new legal filings as well. Combs was recently accused of sexual abuse by a former girlfriend Cassandra “Cassie” Ventura in a legal dispute that was resolved the following day. Combs is now facing another legal dispute regarding allegations of rape and drugging of a woman. His attorney, Benjamin Brafman’s Brafman & Associates, did not respond to requests for comment Friday. Rolling Stone has reported a third lawsuit was filed under New York’s Adult Survivors Act against Combs by a Jane Doe alleging sexual assault.
Before that legislation expired, Wigdor Law and the law firm of Kevin Mintzer filed a summons alleging sexual abuse by a Jane Doe against music executive and Interscope Records’ cofounder Jimmy Iovine. Representatives at Interscope Records were not immediately available to comment Friday.