DOZENS of male models have alleged they were sexually exploited by Bruce Weber and Mario Testino, two of the biggest names in fashion photography.
A New York Times investigation alleges that Weber — known for his celebrity portraits and Calvin Klein ads — subjected 15 current and former male models to unnecessary nudity and coercive sexual behaviour, often during photo shoots.
Testino, who famously photographed a radiant Princess Diana in the last official portraits before her tragic death, subjected 13 male assistants to “sexual advances” including groping and masturbation.
In light of the allegations, Anna Wintour and publishing powerhouse Conde Nast have announced they will not work with either photographer “for the foreseeable future”.
The men alleged that Weber asked them to undress and touch themselves so he could lead them through so-called breathing exercises.
The photographer, they claim, then guided their hands with his own.
Model 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.”
In a statement from his lawyer, Weber vehemently denied the allegations.
“I’m completely shocked and saddened by the outrageous claims being made against me, which I absolutely deny,” Weber said in a statement from his lawyer.
The NYT investigation alleged that Mario Testino, who famously photographed a radiant Princess Diana in the last official portraits before her tragic death, subjected 13 male assistants to “sexual advances” including groping and masturbation.
Ryan Locke, who was photographed by Testino for a Gucci campaign, told the NYT he recalled other models telling him to tighten his belt before meeting Testino.
He described his casting experience in the photographer’s hotel room during which Testino greeted him in a loose dressing grown.
Locked alleged that Testino later climbed on top of him during the Gucci shoot, saying “I’m the girl, you’re the boy.”
“I went at him, like, you better get away,” Locke said.
“I threw the towel on him, put my clothes on and walked out,” the model said.
Testino’s former assistant, Roman Barrett, accused the photographer of sexual misconduct, describing it as a “constant reality”.
Barrett told the NYT: “(Testino) misbehaved in hotel rooms, the backs of cars and on first-class flights. Then things would go back to normal, and that made you feel gaslighted.”
Lavely & Singer, a law firm that represents Testino, challenged the characters and credibility of people who complained of harassment.
The firm also told the NYT it had spoken to several former employees who were “shocked by the allegations” and that those employees “could not confirm any of the claims.”