Sexual Assault Claims by Male Models Hit Top Fashion Photographers

Sexual Assault Claims by Male Models Hit Top Fashion Photographers

In a New York Times expose, 15 current and former male models who worked with Weber, described a pattern of what they said was "unnecessary nudity and coercive sexual behaviour, often during photo shoots".

Weber's work includes campaigns for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch as well as several films.

"Sexual harassment was a constant reality", alleges another of Testino's assistants from the late '90s, Roman Barrett, who also claimed the photographer rubbed up against his leg with an erection and masturbated in front of him.

Mr Testino, 63, took the official photo for Prince William's engagement to Kate Middleton and was awarded an OBE in 2014.

"I believe strongly in the value of remorse and forgiveness, but I take the allegations very seriously, and we at Condé Nast have made a decision to put our working relationship with both photographers on hold for the foreseeable future".

Weber responded to the allegations in a statement released by his lawyer, and said, "I'm completely shocked and saddened by the outrageous claims being made against me, which I absolutely deny". Meanwhile, the law firm that represents Testino has claimed that former employees were "shocked by the allegations" and "could not confirm any of the claims". The allegations span from the 1990s to the present day, and allege that both photographers used their standing in the fashion world to sexually manipulate, molest, abuse, and coerce the male models they worked with. Then he crawls on the bed, climbs on top of me and says: "I'm the girl, you're the boy". At that point, Mario's brother allegedly came into the room and told him to get off the assistant. "I threw the towel on him, put my clothes on and walked out". Mr Testino was also accused of making "aggressive advances" towards young assistants. "A lot of molestation".

Ardolf told the Times that Weber photographed him nude and "forced his hand right on my genitals".

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Another model, Bobby Roache, alleged that Weber tried to put his hands down his pants during a casting in 2007.

The men said, during the private sessions, Weber asked them to undress and led them through breathing and "energy" exercises.

Hooper said he was told: "If I'm more vulnerable, I'll go a lot farther in my career modeling".

Conde Nast recently distanced itself from Terry Richardson following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, despite claims about the photographer mistreating models having been aired years previously.

In a statement to the New York Times Condé Nast chief executive Robert A. Sauerberg Jr. and artistic director Anna Wintour, who is also the editor-in-chief of Vogue, said: "We are deeply disturbed by these accusations and take this very seriously".

All models appearing in Conde Nast-commissioned fashion shoots must now be 18 or older, according to the new rules.

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