Model Ashley Graham shared her own horrifying #MeToo moment with “The View” co-hosts while appearing on the show Tuesday explaining how she was “lured” and “pushed into a closet” as a 17-year-old on set by a photo assistant who “exposed himself” to her.
While the co-hosts discussed photographer Terry Richardson’s alleged sexual assault case — he is currently being investigated by the NYPD — it prompted the 30-year-old to talk about her own worries having worked with the famed photog and then also share her personal and alarming #MeToo story (not involving Richardson) when she was traveling solo as a teen for modeling gigs.
Regarding Richardson, she said she worked with him on set when she was 17 or 18 and it was “normal enough” but she knew the rumors that were going around.
“You’ve heard them [rumors] from everyone about him, and I said yes to the job because you want to work with the best of the best,” Graham said. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh I could be a victim,’ who knows…but you don’t know walking into it because you also have people who praise him.”
Richardson aside, her #MeToo story comes from a completely different job on a set for a big campaign when she was 17.
“A photo assistant said, ‘Come here, I want to talk to you,'” Graham said. “He lured me into this hallway, pushed me into a closet, he exposed himself, and he said, ‘Look at what you did to me all day long — now touch it.'”
The “America’s Next Top Model” host said she “freaked out” and ran out of the closet and “just prayed that no one would find out” because if they did she thought, “I’m never going to get hired for a job again; I’m going to be the difficult model.”
According to Graham, if this had happened now, while women are speaking up saying “Me Too,” then she would have “smacked that guy” and screamed, “He’s a pedophile.”‘
Nothing will keep Graham silent now — the disturbing incident has made her “feel responsible” to speak up and protect younger women in the industry.
She concluded, “The movement is working, and I am going to stand up for my sisters on set.”