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Emily Ratajkowski accuses photographer Jonathan Leder of sexual assault

Model and actress Emily Ratajkowski has released a tell-all essay recounting the many abuses of power she has dealt with in the entertainment industry.

In what is the first in a series of essays delving into the loss of control of her own image, Emily Ratajkowski has published Buying Myself Back: When does a model own her own image? in New York Magazine, describing it as an “extremely personal piece about image, power and consent.” 

The essay paints a graphic and salacious picture of events that have occurred within Ratajkowski’s career during which she has been stripped of her autonomy at the hands of others.

Emily ratajkowski

A few of the circumstances that Ratajkowski speaks on include a lawsuit from a paparazzo, which was brought against her for using a photograph he took of her on her own Instagram Story, as well as a nude photo leak on 4chan. Elsewhere, the model recounts a 2012 photoshoot she participated in with erotic photographer Jonathan Leder in which she claims he sexually abused her.

Ratajkowski states that her agent sent her to Woodstock, New York for an unpaid editorial photoshoot where, aged 21, she stayed at Leder’s home for the night. She proceeds to lay out how she drank copious amounts of red wine to combat her nervousness and how she wanted to impress him throughout the shoot.

“Most of what came next was a blur except for the feeling,” Ratajkowski describes. “I don’t remember kissing, but I do remember his fingers suddenly being inside of me….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.”

The famous photographer has denied the allegations and has labelled it “grotesque and sad that she is so vindictive to lie in such a way to the press.” When Leder was approached by The Cut to comment on the accusations, he stated they were “too tawdry and childish to respond to”. He continued on to say: “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?”

Unfortunately, these recounts of abuse and sexual misconduct are far too prevalent in the fashion and entertainment industries, with many accounts and retellings of exploitations of power at the hands of men.

To read Emily Ratajkowski’s essay in full, head to The Cut.