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M'sian Photographer Accused Of Molesting & Demanding Sex From Models During Photoshoots

On his website, he sells nude photos through Telegram for RM700. It is alleged that he does not have the models' consent to do so.

Cover image via LinkedIn & SAYS

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Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include a statement from the accused.

A group of women have come forward to expose a Malaysian photographer for his alleged sexual offences, which include sexual assault, sexual harassment, blackmailing, and rape, among others

The exposé of the photographer's alleged offences was brought to light by an Instagram page called Blacklisted Photographers. The page — using the handle @blacklistpgs_malaysia — is dedicated to being a safe platform for Malaysian models to expose unethical and predatory photographers.

On 29 March, the page sent out an 'emergency' notice to ask models who had been a victim of the photographer — surnamed Lee — to come forward in order to unravel his alleged predatory sexual advances.

Within just one week, the page has gathered about a dozen testimonies, with some female victims saying Lee had allegedly sexually assaulted them when they were just a teenager.

"Over the years, we have [received] over 30 allegations on Lee for sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual coercion. Some also have reported him [for] selling their nude photos without consent," Blacklisted Photographers wrote.

"On this part, we focused on sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviours during [shoots] as we are still compiling the remaining evidence and testimony in regards to sexual coercion, rape, (and) sexual assault."

According to the testimonies, Lee is accused of having a history of inappropriately touching models without their consent during boudoir shoots

Boudoir photography refers to a photographic style featuring intimate, sensual, and sometimes erotic images of subjects in a private dressing room setting.

In one of the testimonies, a victim said Lee arranged an indoor photoshoot with his two other friends for her and her cousin — who were both under the age of 18.

During the session, Lee touched her cousin's private part while his two other friends approached her to hold her. She then sent her cousin a signal to flee and they managed to escape.

"We made [a] police report as well. But dang, I've been waiting [for] this moment," she shared, adding, "Since [then], I felt traumatic to go for [photoshoots]."

She was only 16 years old at that time.

Another victim said Lee touched her "chest area without consent for shoots" to make them "look better". Lee also allegedly fed her alcohol to "loosen (her) up".

"[He] took his penis and made suggestions to lick it for 'risque shots'. He pulled me in and attempted to put it in my mouth, but I pushed him away and went to the bathroom to vomit," she said.

SAYS sighted Lee's website stating that he charges USD350 (approximately RM1,450) for a boudoir, fashion, portrait, glamour, and art photography session

Image via SAYS

Glamour photography is another type of photographic style that involves subjects posing erotically, with or without clothes on.

The RM1,450-session only lasts for two hours.

Meanwhile, an industry professional also shared the experience of other victims of Lee with Blacklisted Photographers

Speaking to this SAYS writer, the industry professional — @sakiyurai — said that when they highlighted Lee's alleged sexual coercion on their Instagram, other victims came forward to tell them what had happened to them.

In one of the screenshots, Lee is accused of taking off a victim's bra during a "bra and shorts" shoot. She was so afraid that she held onto her bra, but he pulled it off nonetheless.

The victim said she "was still small" at that time, but did not specify her age. In another case, a victim was pressured into going back to Lee's studio for a "more comfortable shoot".

Lee then forced her to take off her bra while telling her not to worry because he had seen "a lot of tits".

In many of the allegations, Lee is said to have failed to send the models their photos and sold their nudes online.

On Lee's website — which is still accessible at the time of writing — he allegedly sells "exclusive, limited, uncensored, and unpublished" photos that he gathered over the span of seven years

Calling it 'Resleeved', he sells the photos for USD169 (approximately RM700) and the photos are believed to be shared via a Telegram channel.

When this SAYS writer messaged Lee on Telegram, it is learnt that the last time he was online was November 2020.

Image via SAYS

"He even raped my ex's best friend," a woman who once knew the predator told this SAYS writer.

"Like hit her and rape her."

She said the goal for all the victims now is to bring him to jail because he is "trash".

Additionally, another photographer told SAYS that Lee had in 2013 allegedly impregnated one of his models and fled to Singapore due to that.

The photographer said that was the beginning of solid allegations against Lee. He returned to Malaysia in 2019 and approached many of the photographer's friends for shoots.

"[Around] that time, the topic of him and his predatory behavior became common as I was shooting a lot of young local aspiring models, as I was a young aspiring photographer myself," he said.

"With that, (I) started to message my friends to get their experiences working with him as the previous allegations (against Lee) were strong and I was worried for them."

The photographer also shared that he was involved in exposing Lee a few years back and complied a Google Sheet of all allegations against Lee. He later passed on all the information to Blacklisted Photographers and that was partly how the platform was formed.

According to Lee's LinkedIn, he used to be a restaurant manager and an editor in chief for a media company before becoming a photographer.

He boasted that he used to work with big brands, such as a South Korean smartphone brand, and had produced viral television commercials, among other things, while being a photo-cum-videographer.

Many of his social media accounts have been taken down. His WhatsApp number is no longer active.

When SAYS reached out to him for a response, Lee said the allegations are "defamatory, [and] designed to ruin my career"

"I am [in] the midst of identifying the perpetrators to initiate the necessary legal actions through my lawyers," the photographer replied to SAYS in an email.

"I will be making an official statement soon." 

He did not specify which allegations out of dozen testimonies were "defamatory" nor did he elaborate on the matter.

These Malaysian organisations aim to help survivors of rape and sexual assault:

1. WOMEN'S AID ORGANISATION (WAO)
Operating hours: 24-hour
Contact: +603-30008858
SMS/WhatsApp: +6018-9888058
Website | Facebook | Twitter

2. ALL WOMEN'S ACTION SOCIETY (AWAM)
Operating hours: Weekdays (9.30am - 4.30pm)
Contact: +603-78770224
WhatsApp: +6016-2284221 | +6016-2374221
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

3. WOMEN'S CENTRE FOR CHANGE PENANG (WCC PENANG)
Operating hours: Weekdays (9am - 5pm)
Contact: +604-2280342 | +604-3988340
WhatsApp: +6011-31084001 | +6016-4390698
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

4. SARAWAK WOMEN FOR WOMEN SOCIETY (SWWS)
Operating hours: Monday to Friday (9am to 5.30pm)
Contact: +6082-422660
SMS/WhatsApp: +6013-8044285
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

5. SABAH WOMEN'S ACTION-RESOURCE GROUP (SAWO)
Operating hours: Monday to Friday (9am to 2pm)
Contact: +6088-280200
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

6. PROTECT AND SAVE THE CHILDREN (PS THE CHILDREN)
Operating hours: Monday to Friday (8.30am to 5.30pm)
Contact: +6016-2273065 | +6016-7213065
WhatsApp: +6016-7213065
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

7. INTERNET WATCH FOUNDATION (IWF)
Anonymously and confidentially report child sexual abuse content and non-photographic child sexual abuse images with IWF’s Reporting Portal.

Sending or storing nudes is illegal in Malaysia. Learn more about how the law impacts you:

A landmark case in 2016 set a precedent for Malaysians to sue perpetrators of sexual harassment. Learn more about it here:

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