Thursday, April 12, 2012

Photographer/Molester in Miami

CC by Oliver Degabriele
**Transferred from another blog...The post had to come down but I didn't want it to go away**

Here's a blog that I have been thinking of writing for a while but hesitated. Its about a photo shoot gone wrong. Due to the influence of a close friend of mine who modeled, I decided to try to get into the modeling thing myself in 2005. It was on my second photo shoot that I quickly changed my mind.

I went onto OMP, a popular industry site for models, photographers, make-up artists, and I found a photographer who had GORGEOUS photos. We exchanged emails and spoke on the phone. He was very warm and friendly and had a very feminine twang to his speech. He made sure to confirm that he was gay by letting me know how he pretty much was not a fan of having a "boyfriend" at the moment and was just having fun playing the field. He also let it "slip" that he was 18 years old but told me not to tell anyone. We set up a date for the shoot and it was on!

The shoot was at his apartment in Miami Beach. When I walked in, I was surprised to see that Mr. Photog Man looked like he was in his mid-30s. I was also sort of surprised to see he was a black man considering that the name he gave me made me imagine him as a pale white Russian dude. But "Oh well." He went into his kitchen and handed me one of two red drinks. I asked "What is it?" and he simply said "Girl, its a special little thing I made for you." Being cautious by nature, I took a couple of pretend sips of the drink. Throughout the shoot he acted offended and would say, "You're not drinkin' my drink :( I can't believe you don't like my drink."I assured him that I was just naturally a slow sipper and we moved on.

He sat me down to show me a website of some of his photographs and also told me a bit about his background. He originally started off traveling around with Cameron Diaz as her personal masseuse. Photography was just a hobby. Basically, his photography career started when he went on Howard Stern to talk about being Cameron Diaz's masseuse and he accidentally let it slip that he was a photographer. From that moment on, he had calls and more requests for photo shoot appointments than he could handle. He began to focus on photography full time.

At some point during the shoot, I made sure to call my boyfriend in front of Mr. Photog Man to confirm a time for him to pick me up and go to a movie straight after the photoshoot. I told him the exact address, including the apartment number, just so Mr. Photog Man would know someone was gonna come looking for me. I then made sure to call my mom back in front of Mr. Photog Man to let her know I was in a photo shoot in Miami Beach.

On to the next outfit: a bikini. At times, Mr. Photog Man would tell me things like, "Give me a sexy, serious look. Sexier....Like you wanna fuck me. No, no, no. Like you wanna suck my dick!" Hmm...odd. "Oh well," again. He's gay. That's what I kept telling myself.

At moments throughout the shoot, Mr. Photog Man would "fix" my boobs by reaching his hand into my top and pulling my breasts up and out. At one point while i was sitting in a chair, Mr. Photog Man walked over to "fix" my bikini bottom. He slipped his fingers into the bottom piece and made full contact with - parts he had no business touching. Red flags, red flags! I tried to make sense of it. "Ehhh...maybe he's just really fixing my bikini bottom. He IS gay, after all."

During the shoot, Mr. Photog Man went on and on about how great he thought I was and how he was going to put me in his August piece in Maxim. He also wanted to take me with him to New York, Paris, blah, blah and blah. At one point he glanced down at my pedicured toes and told me "that's it!" he just loved me....i just earned myself one of his special, very sought-after massages at the end of the shoot. I figured I can just stall to prevent that from happening. Well, finally the time came! "Take off your clothes, go lay down in the bed face down and wait for me." He walked away and left me alone. I didn't want to offend him. I was supposed to be happy to get one of his massages. Right? So many people want one and can't get one. Ok. I took off my top but left my jeans on and laid face down. He walked in and was like "You still have your jeans on!"

I told him I didn't need a full body massage...Just my back would be fine. He told me to at least unbutton my jeans so he can have better access to my lower back. Ok, fine. He covered my bottom have with a towel, anyway and proceeded with the massage. At one point, he took the liberty of lowering my jeans underneath the towel. I was tense and stiff as a board at this point. What. the. fuck. is going on here? It doesn't make sense. There had to be a reasonable explanation. As he massaged my thighs, he went a bit too high, and once again made contact. Finally, my phone rang. My boyfriend was downstairs waiting to pick me up! I was free!

I received confirmation that Mr. Photog ManMr. Photog Man. No such person. I looked up the site he showed me of "his pictures" to get some of his info. Turns out the photographer who runs that site (and shares the same name he gave me) is a blond chick. I discovered a myspace page of his at the time that revealed his real age was mid-30s, Orientation: Straight, Quote: "And your man thinks you're on a photo shoot. lol." I called him to question him and ask him where I can verify any of the credentials he gave me. He was offended and when I showed no concern and continued to question him, he quickly said "Gotta go! Thank you!" and hung up. I called him back and left a message trembling with rage. I basically told him we can do this the easy way and he can just give me any of my photos back...or I can get lawyers involved. He quickly called back and let me know that I had misunderstood him. What he said before we hung up was that he was in a meeting and would call me back :/ He told me what I can google to find proof of any of the things he told me. We hung up. I googled. Nothing. So I picked up the phone to call my lawyer. A small investigation had to be carried out to find out any information possible on Mr. Photog Man based on the info I could provide. All I had was his name, address and cell phone number. Nothing came up. Couldn't find a last name...couldn't trace anything about him. Of course, the name he gave me is probably not really his name.

It was about a month after that I had my first of a series of anxiety attacks. I went on a downward spiral which left me with no appetite, looking like skin and bones, constant anxiety, depression and just a very bad, dark time in my life. I don't believe that this experience was the sole cause of this form of a nervous breakdown I had, but it definitely contributed. I am just thankful that my experience was so mild. A friend of mine forwarded me a myspace page she found that was created in name of all his victims. There have been several victims and many have actually been drugged and raped. I try not to lose sight of how fortunate I was that I did not drink that drink and that some "touching" was all he was able to do to me. Yes, he violated me. But he raped others. Take a look at the link to the myspace page above.

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