Photographer accused of sexually abusing models says ‘it’s all defamatory’

Yeu-Gynn Yeung
·2-min read

A Malaysian photographer who has been accused of sexually inappropriate behavior towards dozens of models said today that he was looking into taking legal action over the “defamatory” allegations.

Brendan Lee, 31, who claims to take portraits and racy photos of mostly women, has been accused of a range of things since last week, including molest, sending obscene images, and blackmailing his talents. But he thinks that it is all part of a plan to destroy his career and that he was in talks with his lawyers about the next steps.

“It’s all defamatory, designed to ruin my career,” he told Coconuts today through email. “I am at the midst of identifying the perpetrators to initiate the necessary legal actions through my lawyers,” he added. Lee did not explain why he was charging customers US$169 for “uncensored and unpublished works” in his private Telegram channel “@brendanleephotography.”

Thirty models purportedly came forward with stories of sexual abuse at the hands of Lee through the Blacklisted Photographers Instagram account dedicated to exposing creeps in the industry. The page, which calls itself a “safe platform” for models to expose predatory photographers, outed Lee on Instagram on March 30, noting that Lee regularly changes up his social media channels, including the now-deleted Instagram accounts @Brendanleephotography and @BrendanLeeAesthetics.

Among the things the alleged victims told the account was that Lee had sexually abused them and asked for sexual favors like blowjobs. One of the accusers, who only wanted to be known as Sarah, 28, said Lee had touched her crotch area during her first-ever shoot in 2018 to “get in the mood.”

“Then despite my rejection, he tried to put his fingers in me while I was in a pose that wasn’t facing him,” she told Coconuts today. The photographer had also asked for a “faux blowjob shot” using his penis, she claimed.

Sarah had no prior modeling experience before meeting Lee. After that shoot, which lasted two hours, Sarah said she received dick pics from Lee on WhatsApp. Months later, she cut off all contact with Lee after receiving threats from strangers using photos and videos of her that she thought only Lee had.

None of them have reported Lee to the police, including Sarah, who was afraid of being blamed and that she might lose if the matter was taken to court. But she still believes that Lee should be “held accountable.”

“It felt like one person’s accusation against him, without any evidence seemed like fighting a losing battle.”

Screenshot of @Brendanleephotography’s now-deleted Instagram account description.
Screenshot of @Brendanleephotography’s now-deleted Instagram account description.
Screenshots of Brendan Lee’s Telegram channel and his website
Screenshots of Brendan Lee’s Telegram channel and his website

Editor’s note: The accuser’s name was changed to protect her identity

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This article, Photographer accused of sexually abusing models says ‘it’s all defamatory’, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.