A new expose by The New York Times, released Saturday, recounts the testimonies of 28 former and current models who claim they were sexually exploited by fashion photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber. 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.
Of the 15 male models who have accused Weber, one in particular, Robyn Sinclair, told The New York Times, “I remember him putting his fingers in my mouth, and him grabbing my privates. We never had sex or anything, but a lot of things happened. A lot of touching. A lot of molestation.”
And of the shocking allegations against Weber, the publication wrote that “The men recalled, with remarkable consistency, private sessions with Mr. Weber in which he asked them to undress and led them through breathing and ‘energy’ exercises. Models were asked to breathe and to touch both themselves and Mr. Weber, moving their hands wherever they felt their ‘energy.’ Often, Mr. Weber guided their hands with his own.”
"I remember him putting his fingers in my mouth, and him grabbing my privates," a male model said of Bruce Weber.
"He was a sexual predator," another model said of Mario Testino. https://t.co/eJRtNOfbVn
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 13, 2018
According to The New York Times, 13 men who have worked with Testino have said that “he subjected them to sexual advances that in some cases included groping and masturbation.” A former Gucci model called Jason Fedele alleges, “If you wanted to work with Mario, you needed to do a nude shoot at the Chateau Marmont. All the agents knew that this was the thing to excel or advance your career.”
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.” Testino’s lawyer also responded, claiming that the models The New York Times had spoken to “cannot be considered reliable sources.”
In December 2017, a male model brought a law suit against Weber claiming sexual harassment. Weber denied all of the allegations brought against him in the complaint.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.
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