Group sex, a speed addiction and an affair with 18-year-old Anjelica Huston: The weird world of photographer Terry Richardson’s dad revealed in shocking new book
Dad: Terry Richardson is now a father himself, having had two kids – Rex and Roman – with girlfriend Alex Bolotow (left)
Terry Richardson is the bad boy of fashion photography: his sexually explicit, in-your-face shoots – sometimes involving real sex acts – have earned him a following that includes Lady Gaga, Marc Jacobs and Yves Saint Laurent.
He’s also been accused of pressuring models into sex by Danish model Rie Rasmussen, a claim he denies. But as controversial as his own career has been, it can’t hold a candle to his father’s.
An amphetamine-addicted schizophrenic, Bob Richardson turned the world upside down for the fashion industry – and for young Terry, who was drawn into his disturbing world of group sex, hard drugs and violent outbursts.
The startling story was revealed by the NY Post Saturday in an excerpt from ‘Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers’ by Michael Gross.
Born in 1928 to a Catholic family in Long Island, New York, Richardson – initially a graphic designer – didn’t pick up a camera until 1963, when he was 35.
But when he did, he went at the job hard, telling himself he had to become a ‘legend’ in the industry and injecting himself with amphetamine-laced vitamin supplements that would let him for for days at a time without sleeping.
Fractious, arrogant, brilliant and driven, Richardson was infamous in the 1960s for causing a ruckus on sets, ruining clothing, going into tremendous outbursts and infuriating his clients.
‘I’m told you’re a genius, but I don’t see it,’ Charles Revson, owner of Revlon, told him one time.
‘Get your eyes examined,’ Richardson barked at him.
His arms bruised by needle tracks from self-administered amphetamine shots, Richardson shot glamorous models for Paris Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, bringing a gritty rock ‘n’ roll ethos that was revolutionary at the time.
But he pushed himself too far, working day and night in the grip of an ever-growing drug dependency.