Director of Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’ video accused of lurid past

If you thought Miley Cyrus’ twerking at the VMAs was scandalous, wait until you see her new video, in which she sits astride a wrecking ball, nude.

But the pop queen’s bid to out-naked Lady Gaga may not be the most newsworthy part. “Wrecking Ball” is the first video Cyrus has made with photographer/director Terry Richardson. Who’s he? Just a controversial figure in the fashion world who’s been repeatedly accused of exploiting kids and inappropriately touching models.

Richardson has vehemently denied the allegations, which have come from a number of people.


In 2010, model Jamie Peck described a nude photo session during which, she said, Richardson insisted she address him as “Uncle Terry,” got naked himself and requested a sex act.

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“Of all the fine folks I’ve frolicked au naturel for, he’s the only one who’s left me feeling like I needed to take two showers,” Peck wrote in a Web posting (which, beware, contains some sensitive language).

Rie Rasmussen, a former top model for Gucci and Victoria’s Secret, was upset when Richardson used a photo he’d taken of her in a book that included shots of young models simulating sex acts.

“He takes girls who are young, manipulates them to take their clothes off and takes pictures of them they will be ashamed of,” Rasmussen told the New York Post. “I told him what you do is completely degrading to women.” She said Richardson fled the confrontation but later complained about her to associates.

Jenna Sauers, a blogger for Jezebel, told Fox411 in 2010 that models had come forward with similar accounts of Richardson’s behavior at shoots: “You suddenly get naked and then he touches you and he goes further and further. But you’re surrounded by his assistants and they are validating his actions.”

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In a statement at the time, Richardson defended himself, writing: “I just want to take a moment to say I’m really hurt by the recent and false allegations of insensitivity and misconduct. I feel fortunate to work with so many extraordinary people each and every day. I’ve always been considerate and respectful of the people I photograph and I view what I do as a real collaboration between myself and the people in front of the camera.”

This isn’t the first time Cyrus, 20, has collaborated with Richardson. He shot her for the October cover of Harper’s Bazaar. On Monday, Richardson’s blog featured photos of the two mugging (clothed) for the camera during the “Wrecking Ball” shoot.

A Cyrus rep did not immediately address two emails asking about Richardson’s past or whether the singer was aware of the allegations.

What do you think of Cyrus’ new video?


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