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Photographer denies Emily Ratajkowski’s sexual abuse claims

Emily Ratajkowski has accused photographer Jonathan Leder of sexually assaulting her during a photo shoot at his New York home in 2012 – claims he strongly denies.In a lengthy essay forNew York magazine, published today, the 29-year-old model and actress wrote that she was assaulted by the photographer during a visit to Leder’s upstate home…

Emily Ratajkowski has accused photographer Jonathan Leder of sexually assaulting her during a photo shoot at his New York home in 2012 – claims he strongly denies.

In a lengthy essay forNew York magazine, published today, the 29-year-old model and actress wrote that she was assaulted by the photographer during a visit to Leder’s upstate home in Catskills for an unpaid photo shoot for a magazine called Darius, which required an overnight stay.

Leder says that the claims are false and concocted by the model for publicity purposes.

Then an unknown 20-year-old model, Ratajkowski claims that on arriving at Leder’s home she was surprised to discover she would be modelling lingerie.

In an attempt to appear mature, she accepted the red wine he offered her throughout the evening, the New York Post reports.

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“I’d been taught that it was important to earn a reputation as hardworking and easygoing,” she wrote.

“‘You never know who they’ll be shooting with next!’ my agent would remind me.”

After being photographed in lingerie, Ratajkowski claims Leder said, “Let’s try naked now.”

“The second I dropped my clothes, a part of me disassociated,” she wrote. “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.”

Later, when the makeup artist who was present for the shoot went to bed, Ratajkowski said she felt wide awake, but “very, very drunk”. She writes that she and Leder were huddled under a blanket on the couch when he started asking her about her boyfriends and watched as she rubbed her feet together to keep them warm.

“He told me he liked ‘that foot thing you’re doing,’ and I remember this moment more clearly than anything else,” she wrote. “I hate that Jonathan commented on something I’ve done throughout my life to comfort myself.

“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 claims. Ratajkowski then goes into more graphic detail about the alleged abuse, which is in the NY mag article, and the moment she made him stop.

“I didn’t say a word. He stood up abruptly and scurried silently into the darkness up the stairs.”

Ratajkowski writes that she went to bed and caught a train home the next morning.

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Years later, the photos Leder took were published in a book, although Ratajkowski claims Leder and Imperial Publishing had no right to use the images. At the time, a lawyer sent cease-and-desist letters to the book’s publisher, Imperial Publishing, and an art gallery planning to hold an exhibition of the photos.

In a series of Twitter posts in 2016, Ratajkowski said she did not consent to the photos being released.

“I’ve been resisting speaking publicly on the recently released photos by Jonathan Leder to avoid giving him publicity. But I’ve had enough. This book and the images within them are a violation.

“Five out of the now hundreds of released photos were used for what they were intended: An artful magazine shoot back in 2012.”

She continued: “These photos being used w/out my permission is an example of exactly the opposite of what I stand for. Women choosing when and how they want to share their sexuality and bodies.”

A rep for Imperial Publishing, who represents Leder, emphatically denied Ratajkowski’s claims to Page Six on Tuesday.

“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. “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.”

The NY mag article also reports Leder’s immediate response to the allegations when he was asked by a fact-checker were, “too tawdry and childish to repond to”.

Leder 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 Rob Thicke video at that time. You really want someone to believe she was a victim?”

Ratajkowski steadfastly maintains that she didn’t even sign a release for the photos and neither did her agent.

Leder claims there was a release contract signed. Ratajkowski claims that, in the end, her lawyer advised her against pursuing a lawsuit because it would be “fruitless” and outrageously expensive.

Leder’s rep, however, said, “She knows she has no legal recourse to stop publication, so badmouthing the photographer (again) with salacious accusations seems to be her new-found answer.

“It is a shame, because the photos are really powerful and they are beloved by so many of her fans.”

Page Six was unable to get in touch with Darius magazine.

This story originally appeared in the New York Post and has been reproduced here with permission

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