*Model Emily Ratajkowski penned an essay for The Cut in which she alleges that photographer Jonathan Leder assaulted her during a photoshoot in 2012.
Her allegations coincide with the release of Ledger’s new book of never-before-seen nude and semi-nude pictures from the shoot. Ratajkowski claims it was published without her permission. Leder denies her accusations.
In a new essay for New York magazine entitled “Buying Myself Back When does a model own her own image?” published on Tuesday morning, she recounts the photoshoot with Leder at his home when she was 20 years old and trying to build her portfolio.
Ratajkowski, 29, explains that her agent at the time wanted her to stay overnight after the shoot. She claims it was only after she arrived did she learn she would be modeling lingerie.
“I’d been taught that it was important to earn a reputation as hardworking and easygoing,” Ratajkowski said about why she accepted the red wine Leder offered her. “You never know who they’ll be shooting with next!’ my agent would remind me.”
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I’ve been working on a collection of essays for the past year and couldn’t be more thrilled that @nymag has published “Buying Myself Back”. This is an extremely personal piece about image, power and consent. Thank you to the entire New York magazine team for this opportunity and all of their support. Link in my bio.
After the lingerie shoot, Leder allegedly suggested they “try naked” pictures.
“The second I dropped my clothes, a part of me disassociated,” she recalled. “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.”
She went on to say that she had become “very, very drunk” from the wine and the situation escalated when the female photographer went to sleep, leaving Ratajkowski alone with Leder.
“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,” she continued. “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. He stood up abruptly and scurried silently into the darkness up the stairs.”
Ratajkowski said the incident left her feeling “sore and fragile.”
“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,” she writes in The Cut.
A rep for the photographer denied her accusations.
“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 rep said to Page Six. “Of course Mr. Leder totally denies her outrageous allegations of being ‘assaulted.’ It is grotesque and sad that she is so vindictive to lie in such a way to the press routinely.”
Read Emily’s full essay here.