The Australian music photographer who was the focus of a social media storm about his predatory behaviour has cancelled himself.
The story first surfaced late last week, when Brisbane musician Jaguar Jonze posted several images of hand-written notes detailing some of her own, devastating experiences with 'predators' within the music industry.
Jaguar, real name Deena Lynch, also noted hearing many stories in recent days relating to a "particular male photographer who works in the industry".
These stories included the photographer stalking victims on social media, engaging models in nude shoots they were uncomfortable doing, as well as sending photos and/ or flashing his genitalia.
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*PLEASE READ AND PASS ALONG // TRIGGER WARNING* It is sad that in my time in the industry, I’ve come across many predators who still abuse their place of power or profile and manipulate the trust people, especially young female musicians, have given to them. In the last few days, I’ve been hearing so many stories about a particular male photographer who works in the industry. When I was sexually assaulted last year by two producers, I felt alone, ashamed and didn’t know what to do, or where to go. I am just writing this to say, that if you have been affected by a similar story and need a safe space to land in this sometimes terrifying industry - please reach out to me. Or if you’re unsure of what to do in certain situations I am here for you - to listen, to protect, to empower and to let you know that you are not alone. I don’t want this pattern to continue and for it to happen to anyone else. Stay safe and assert your boundaries.
Within hours she was inundated by other women detailing similar stories; by weekend's end more than 100 individuals had come forward with statements about the abhorrent behaviour of the same photographer.
That photographer is Jack Stafford (whose social media alias was @re._stacks – it has since been deleted) who on Monday published a lengthy statement online
, which you can read here, detailing his actions as an "evil, dishonest, manipulative and a perverted man".
Stafford believed he was a good person who was not acting in a predatory manner. "I didn't believe I was operating from an evil or dishonest space or especially not a predatory place. I was telling myself I am a good person. I wasn't and I am not.
"I abused my power. And have displayed pure misogyny in more than just my professional career but also in my personal life, with conversation and other actions to people who tried and failed to stop me. This wasn't their fault.
"The women in my life who I know, who I've worked with, they are sisters, mothers, friends, wives, partners, they need protecting from men like me and I have failed that. When any woman is hurt by a man, all women are hurt by men.
"My self awareness was another thing I somewhat had pride in, it's clear I lack so much now that I have a lifetime worth to regain."
Since Jack issued his statement, Deena has posted several more times to social media about his response. "108 people have now come forward to me with allegations toward the same photographer. This has been a truly sickening and disheartening few days.
"I have been taking the time before I updated the number as it came in like an avalanche, to be able to listen as much as I can and to figure out what we can do as next steps."
Deena told The Guardian
that Stafford's statement had left the women who had contacted her irate, angry and provoked. "I found it to be a huge defence of ignorance and I think that's not good enough. . . I know that that apology angers them," she says.
"He starts off the statement saying that he needs to be listening, but to then go ahead and write a 3,000-word apology. . . I found that to be contradictory to the listening he says he should be doing."
Comments to Stafford's post elicited similar reactions.
"That was the biggest pile of self-indulgent crap I’ve read from a sexual predator in a while. How do you actually dare." - Johno
"This isn’t honest. You have been called out multiple times, not only once, but even this “apology” now is manipulative and reads as gaslighting." - James
"Oh man, this is the ultimate example in narcisstic sexual predator going into your pretentious defence mode just for short-term public display – by claiming you’re on some fake redemption journey." - Ori