‘Reacher’ Star Alan Ritchson Says He Quit the Modeling Industry After Being Sexually Assaulted

“Let’s be honest, it’s like legalized sex trafficking,” the actor-producer says

Alan Ritchson Reacher Amazon
Photo by Gregory Doherty/Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Alan Ritchson, best known for his work on Amazon Prime Video’s “Reacher,” revealed on Wednesday that he was sexually assaulted by a “very famous photographer” during his modeling days, which led him to quit the industry altogether.

Before transitioning to film and later television, Ritchson worked as a model and said he was “one of the highest paid” at his agency. Though he didn’t give any names, the star told The Hollywood Reporter he was booked for a gig with a “very famous” photographer that involved him doing nudes. The deal was that if he did this job, the photographer would offer him a “lucrative” campaign involving a magazine and a clothing line. That’s not what ended up happening.

“I was sexually assaulted by this guy. I left and drove straight to the agency that I was at in L.A. I stormed in and said, ‘F–k you for sending me there. You knew what was going to happen, and you did it anyway,’” Ritchson recalled. The star said that his agent, whom he did not name, wasn’t surprised about what happened.

“I quit the industry and it was the last photo shoot I’ve ever had. Those pictures were never seen or published. That was it,” Ritchson continued. “I swore it off and thank God acting found me at the exact same time so I was able to make a switch to a new career, but it left some scars.”

In the profile, Ritchson didn’t gloss over the dark side of modeling, noting that there are “few redeeming qualities” to the industry and calling it “legalized sex trafficking.” He also noted that, due to his size and build, he always knew he could physically extract himself from most dangerous situations, but that isn’t always the case for female models.

“The industry is not regulated, and it’s a widely known secret that if you’re hired on a job, you’re basically being passed off to a photographer to be trafficked,” Ritchson said. “The number of times and situations where I was put in horrific environments where sexual abuse was the goal and the paycheck that you were desperate for in order to survive was the carrot, I can’t count on two hands. It was quite often.”

In the same interview, the actor also opened up about his suicide attempt as well as his diagnosis of bipolar and ADHD.

Ritchson made his acting debut as Aquaman on The CW’s “Smallville.” Over the years, he’s appeared in cult hits such as Spike TV’s “Blue Mountain State” and HBO Max’s DC series “Titans” and even appeared in major blockbusters like “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Fast X.” But it Prime Video’s “Reacher” launched him to another level, and he’s now got a deal with Amazon to develop and star in projects for the streamer.

“Reacher” is currently in production on a third season.


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