Prominent Melbourne photographer admits he was an ‘abuser’ following harassment accusations

Prominent Melbourne music photographer Jack Stafford has admitted that he was an "abuser" who had "displayed pure misogyny" after he outed himself as the unnamed subject of several sexual misconduct accusations on social media.

Earlier this week, musician Jaguar Jonze published a selection of accusations against an unnamed male photographer on her Instagram account.

In the days that followed, Jonze’s followers shared their experiences, and the tally soon numbered over 100 women who described harassment from the same male photographer. 

While Jonze did not explicitly name Stafford, it was apparent to many that the Melbourne photographer was the subject of the post.

Importantly, it was also apparent to Stafford. 

In a 3000-word apology published online on Medium, Stafford confessed to exposing himself to his photographic subjects, initiating inappropriate conversations, and encouraging his subjects to do shoots in the nude in circumstances that made them feel uncomfortable. Stafford also admitted to sharing images "that were not [his] to share" with third parties.

Stafford has been criticised for his lengthy-response which has been characterised by some as a way for him to curate the narrative about his misconduct. 

Despite this, Stafford does openly admit to his wrongdoing and he has announced that he will be leaving the world of photography altogether, a result which will hopefully set a precedent for other photographers who have engaged in sexual misconduct or inappropriate behaviour.

In his apology, Stafford said, "There isn't [sic] blurry lines ... in professional settings, there are clearly marked ones that I took it upon myself to blur with a complete disregard of the consequence or comfort of the other person".

"I want to be the example that scares the shit out of other men".

"The patriarchy absolutely exists and I abused my privilege within it. As I go down I want to bring it with me.”

Stafford has since deleted his re._stacks Instagram account, and stated he plans to remove himself from ‘public life’ for some time.

Crisis support services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: Lifeline 13 11 14

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