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Earlier this week, British model Emma Appleton captured tabloid attention when she alleged that fashion photographer Terry Richardson had offered her a Vogue shoot in exchange for sex.
Now, the New York Post is reporting that the person who sent Appleton this message—"If I can fuck you I will book you in NY for a shoot for Vogue."—was not Terry Richardson. The Post quotes "online forensic expert" Theo Yedinsky who says that the message did not come from a verified Richardson account but instead from a Facebook profile set up under "some random Gmail account" just a few weeks ago. Yedinsky was hired by the Richardson camp after the model's allegations went public.
Over on Jezebel, commenters aren't super psyched about how the original story broke, that people believed it, or that Appleton shared the message without confirming that it was indeed from Richardson. A few reactions:
· "Now, Terry Richardson has some plausible deniability with future allegations because people couldn't wait one fucking second to fact-check something or wait to find out more about it. Happens way too often here. And those that don't immediately get confronted and called misogynist, etc."
· "I stayed away from this stupid thing because I didn't want to deal with the shitstorm that would come my way if I defended him, but it amazes me anyone thought this was real to begin with. Not because of the character aspect of it, but the execution part."
· "Dear Ms. Appleton: Congratulations! You've succeeded in making it just a little bit harder for sexual assault survivors to come forward and be believed in favor of furthering your career. I really hope the consequence is that you never work again. Toodles, you f*cking fame-hungry moron."
The Terry Richardson sex scandal: something we can all feel terrible about, no matter who we believe or whose side we're on. Happy Friday?
· Latest Terry Richardson sex scandal was a hoax: expert [NYP]
· Terry Richardson's Latest Scandal Was an All-Too Believable Hoax [Jezebel]
· Model: Terry Richardson Offered to Trade Vogue Shoot For Sex [Racked]