Ratajkowski alleges in the Tuesday-published piece that the incident took place at Leder's Catskills home in 2012. She explains that her agent at the time wanted her to travel to the residence for a shoot that would require her to stay overnight. When Ratajkowski arrived, she was surprised to find that she would be modeling lingerie.
"I’d been taught that it was important to earn a reputation as hardworking and easygoing," she said when explaining why she accepted the red wine Leder offered her even though she was only 20 years old. "You never know who they’ll be shooting with next!’ my agent would remind me."
After shooting photos in lingerie, Leder allegedly wanted to "try naked" pictures.
"The second I dropped my clothes, a part of me disassociated," Ratajkowski recalled. "I began to float outside of myself, watching as I climbed back onto the bed. I arched my back and pursed my lips, fixating on the idea of how I might look through his camera lens. Its flash was so bright and I’d had so much wine that giant black spots were expanding and floating in front of my eyes."
She went on to say that she had become "very, very drunk" from the wine creating an atmosphere where she couldn't consent to what happened.
"Most of what came next was a blur except for the feeling. I don’t remember kissing, but I do remember his fingers suddenly being inside of me," she continued. "Harder and harder and pushing and pushing like no one had touched me before or has touched me since. I could feel the shape of myself and my ridges, and 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. He stood up abruptly and scurried silently into the darkness up the stairs."
A rep for the photographer denied Ratajkowski's accusations.
"We are all deeply disturbed to read Ms. Ratajkowski’s latest (false) statements to NY Mag in her never-ending search for press and publicity," the rep said to Page Six. "Of course Mr. Leder totally denies her outrageous allegations of being ‘assaulted.’ It is grotesque and sad that she is so vindictive to lie in such a way to the press routinely."
Ratajkowski's purpose in sharing her story wasn't just to out her abuser—she also wanted to explain the lack of agency models have over their own bodies. Despite sending a cease-and-desist to Imperial Publishing, the photos Ratajkowski took that night ended up in Leder's book. Ratajkowski has also faced lawsuits from photographers for posting pictures of herself on her Instagram.
"'See you’re getting sued. My advice …' he began," Ratajkowski said when describing a conversation with her former step-father. "Jim was a lawyer, familiar with people calling him up to ask for legal advice and therefore used to doling out his opinion even when it wasn’t solicited. ''I guess this comes with the territory of being a public persona,' he wrote in a follow-up text. I guess, I thought."