/Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Says Very Famous Photographer Sexually Assaulted Him

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Says Very Famous Photographer Sexually Assaulted Him

Alan Ritchson is opening up for the first time about being sexually assaulted.

Before he became an actor, the “Reacher” star told The Hollywood Reporter, he worked as a model for brands like Abercrombie & Fitch and Calvin Klein. During this time, he said he was sexually assaulted by a “very famous photographer” in Los Angeles.

“I was sent into a hotel room to do nudes with the promise that if I did the shoot, he would offer me a very lucrative campaign for a magazine and a clothing line,” he told the outlet. “I was sexually assaulted by this guy. I left and drove straight to the agency that I was at.”

“I stormed in and said, ‘Fuck you for sending me there. You knew what was going to happen, and you did it anyway,’” added Ritchson. “There was a coy smile [on the agent’s face], knowing he got caught. ‘It’s OK,’ he said. ‘Not a big deal, calm down.’”

The agent purportedly told Ritchson he wouldn’t be sent “back there” and nonchalantly admitted the photographer “can get a little aggressive.” Despite being “one of the highest paid models at the agency,” Ritchson said he quit and never looked back.

Ritchson added this was his “last photo shoot” as a model, and that acting “found” him at “the exact same time,” making the transition tenable. He appeared on “American Idol” (and flirted with judge Paula Abdul) before landing small roles in various TV shows.

The former model said the assault “left some scars,” however, and told the Reporter that an ensuing “existential crisis” led to a suicide attempt in 2019.

While he left the photographer from his last shoot nameless, Ritchson did identify another, alleging fashion photographer Mario Testino touched him inappropriately. Ritchson was purportedly seated next to him at a Paris Fashion Week dinner in 2014 at the time.

Ritchson started acting in the mid-2000s and found huge success as the lead in "Reacher."
Ritchson started acting in the mid-2000s and found huge success as the lead in “Reacher.”

John Nacion/Variety/Getty Images

“He wouldn’t keep his hands off me,” he told the Reporter. “The entire time we were sitting at dinner, he was trying to rub my crotch under the table. I was like, ‘Get your hands off me, dude … I’m not an object to you. I’m way past that now, dude.’ But he was entertained by it.”

Ritchson claimed he later declined an invite to Testino’s hotel room and was allegedly bribed with the chance of landing a “Vogue” cover, which the actor also declined. Testino was accused in 2018 of sexual harassment by multiple models and assistants.

Testino’s representatives did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

For Ritchson, being a model meant toeing a “terrible line” to keep his job and thinking, “How do I not get raped?” The actor has since found success with “Reacher,” but is well aware that countless women are still enduring experiences similar to his.

“I completely empathize with women,” Ritchson told the Reporter. “It’s still unfair, but if I really had to, I could get myself out of whatever room I was in through a physical altercation. Most women don’t have that option. Imagine how terrifying it must be.”

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