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Emily Ratajkowski says she was sexually assaulted by photographer Jonathan Leder after a nude photo shoot in 2012

  • Emily Ratajkowski wrote an essay for New York Magazine on Tuesday in which she said she was sexually assaulted by photographer Jonathan Leder following a nude photo shoot in 2012.
  • Following the photo shoot, Ratajkowski said she was “very, very drunk” when Leder touched her without consent.
  • “I don’t remember kissing, but I do remember his fingers suddenly being inside of me,” she said, adding that it “really, really hurt.”
  • Leder reportedly denied the allegations and told New York Magazine that the model’s claims were “too tawdry and childish to respond to.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Emily Ratajkowski said that photographer Jonathan Leder sexually assaulted her following a nude photo shoot in 2012, in an essay she wrote for New York Magazine on Tuesday. 

The model, now 29, recalled traveling to Leder’s home in the Catskills for an “unpaid editorial” shoot, during which she posed both in lingerie and without clothes, under instructions from her former agent.

Ratajkowski, who said she was “very, very drunk” after drinking wine with Leder, said that the photographer put his fingers inside of her without consent while they sat on a couch together following the shoot. 

“Most of what came next was a blur except for the feeling,” she wrote. “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.”

Ratajkowski said she “pulled his fingers out” and “didn’t say a word” to Leder, who walked away. She said she spent the night in one of the bedrooms they used for the photo shoot. 

“I was both confused as to why Jonathan had left without a word and terrified that he would come back,” she wrote. 

 

The photographer reportedly denied Ratajkowski’s allegations when contacted by a New York Magazine fact-checker, stating that her claims were “too tawdry and childish to respond to.” 

According to the outlet, he added: “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?”

In a statement to Insider, a representative from Imperial Pictures Publishing, which Leder co-founded, wrote that the photographer denied the model’s allegations. 

“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 representative wrote. 

Leder also told The Daily Mail that Ratajkowski’s allegations are “totally false.”

The allegations come four years after Ratajkowski accused Leder of publishing nude photographs from the shoot without her consent

Several years after the shoot, Ratajkowski learned that Leder had published the photographs in a book titled, “Emily Ratajkowski” in 2016 without her permission. According to the model, it included some of the most “revealing and vulgar Polaroids he had taken of me.” 

In a series of tweets, she wrote that she tried to avoid speaking about Leder but “had enough” after learning about the book.

Ratajkowski added that the book and the use of the photos without permission were a “violation” and an “example of exactly the opposite of what I stand for.” 

 

New York City’s Castor Gallery also announced plans to feature the photos in an exhibition called “Polaroids.”

Her lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter to Leder and the gallery, stating that they didn’t have the right to the images as Ratajkowski claimed she only agreed to one-time usage for a magazine spread.

She said the gallery told her that they had a signed release from her, though Ratajkowski nor her former agent remembered signing any paperwork.

“My lawyer and I got on the phone the next day with the agent, who was sure she hadn’t signed it. ‘It must have been forged,’ my lawyer announced. I felt my frustration grow. I knew I had never signed anything; I had never agreed to anything. No one had asked me,” she wrote in the New York Magazine essay. 

Leder’s legal team responded to Ratajkowski’s cease-and-desist letter in a document that is currently published on Imperial Pictures Publishing’s website, stating that “no written permission is required for the type of use of one’s name and likeness at issue here.”

The document said that the gallery’s use of the photographs was protected under the First Amendment. 

Castor Gallery proceeded to showcase the photos in an exhibition called “Polaroids” in 2017, and Leder went on to publish three books containing the photos. 

“I couldn’t believe how many people had turned up despite my very public protest,” she wrote of the buzzy “Polaroids” exhibition.

Emily Ratajkowski

Emily Ratajkowski attends the Versace fashion show on February 21, 2020, in Milan, Italy.


Victor Boyko/Getty Images



During a 2017 interview with Highsnobiety, Leder commented on her tweets regarding his book, saying that it would have been “smarter” for her to support the photos he took of her. 

“I know many, many people love these photos, and in my personal opinion, many of them are very beautiful. The people that love these photos are her fans. She looks great, and it was a special moment in time,” he said. 

Leder continued, “I guess they forget about the 1st Amendment in Los Angeles. I’m not sure why she would want to stop her fans from viewing these Polaroids. Who knows.”

Ratajkowski wrote that she’s debated suing Leder but decided against it.

“I’m not convinced that spending any more of my resources on Jonathan would be money well spent,” she wrote. 

A representative for Jonathan Leder didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.



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