Emily Ratajkowski is ready to reclaim herself.
On Tuesday, The Cut published a personal essay written by the model titled, “Buying Myself Back: When does a model own her own image?” which contained accusations of sexual assault against photographer Jonathan Leder.
In the piece, the now 29-year-old recalled driving to the New York Catskills in 2012 for an “unpaid editorial” shoot with Leder. At the time, Ratajkowski was only 20 and trying to impress creatives in the industry because it is “an important part of building a good reputation” and growing her portfolio.
The fresh-faced model felt “confident, unafraid and proud” when she posed for Leder in an upstairs bedroom, first in vintage-inspired lingerie, and later completely nude per his suggestion:
“My body felt like a superpower. Still, though, 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.”
Jonathan allegedly made a comment about the size of her nipples which made Emily uncomfortable, though she said nothing:
“I said nothing and nodded, confused but somehow feeling that he meant to insult me. I felt my stomach turn.”
Later, the female photographer who was with them went to sleep, and the Blurred Lines video star remembered thinking “I can handle him alone.” It wasn’t long before she said she was being asked questions about her “dating history” and the men she “really loved.”
Ratajkowski also included a graphic account of the alleged assault:
“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.”
She continued (below):
“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.”
The Gone Girl actress wrote that she felt “sore and fragile” after the alleged incident, feeling an “intense headache” coming on as she was “barely” able to close her mouth because it was so dry:
“I stood up carefully, pressing my bare feet against the floorboards. I climbed up the wooden stairs and into the room where we’d shot at the beginning of the night, then lay down on the thin, flowery sheets. I shivered uncontrollably. I was both confused as to why Jonathan had left without a word and terrified that he would come back. I listened for a sign of him as I watched the blue light of dawn peek in through the window.”
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Images from the shoot, including the “most revealing and vulgar” were later published in a book titled Emily Ratajkowski four years later. The UK native revealed she was only made aware of the project when she was contacted by the media about it, and felt he was “waiting to whore her out” as her career grew:
“I received a call from a well-known magazine asking if they could help promote my new book of photographs. Confused, I searched my name online. There it was: Emily Ratajkowski, the book, priced at $80. Some of the images were posted on Jonathan’s Instagram, and they were among the most revealing and vulgar Polaroids he had taken of me. I was livid and frantic.”
At this time, Emily feels that pursuing any legal action would be “fruitless.” Jonathan has since released additional books containing images of the model, which she also says were published without her permission.
And when contacted by The Cut, the photographer said Emily’s allegations were “too tawdry and childish to respond to.” His Instagram account has since been deactivated.
In a statement provided to People, his publishing house, Imperial Publishing, shared:
“We were all deeply disturbed to read Ms. Ratajkowski’s latest false statements to NY Magazine. While we understand that Ms. Ratajkowski no longer feels that the images represent her in the way she would like, and are probably detrimental to her career as an actress and celebrity, nonetheless, her recent accusations are based in fiction and not in fact, and the facts should matter. Mr. Leder completely denies her outrageous libelous allegations of being ‘assaulted.’ It is grotesque and sad that she is so vindictive about the publication of the photos.”
What happened to believing women?? Sound OFF with your thoughts in the comments (below).
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