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Model From 'Blurred Lines' Video Makes Big Accusation

Emily Ratajkowski says photographer Jonathan Leder sexually assaulted her in 2012
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2020 10:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – Model and actress Emily Ratajkowski has penned an essay for New York magazine, in which she claims she was sexually assaulted by photographer Jonathan Leder in 2012, before making it big. Ratajkowski, who came to stardom in Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" music video, had met with Leder at his upstate New York home for an unpaid, overnight photo shoot, after which photos appeared in Darius magazine. "I knew that impressing these photographers was an important part of building a good reputation," Ratajkowski writes, noting she hardly flinched as she was asked to pose in lingerie and then nude. She says she accepted glasses of red wine though she was only 20, as "I'd been taught that it was important to earn a reputation as hardworking and easygoing." Soon, "giant black spots were expanding and floating in front of my eyes."

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It was at the end of the shoot, after a female makeup artist left the room, that Ratajkowski says Leder assaulted her. "I don't remember kissing, but I do remember his fingers suddenly being inside of me," she writes. "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." She added she went to bed and then returned home the next morning. She "never told anyone about what happened." Leder—who went on, without Ratajkowski's permission, to publish a book of images from the shoot that was reprinted three times—denies the allegation. "This is the girl that was naked in Treats! magazine, and bounced around naked in the Robin Thicke video at that time," he tells New York. "You really want someone to believe she was a victim?" His publisher, Imperial, suggests her allegation is for "press and publicity," per Page Six. (Read more sexual assault stories.)

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