Male Models Accuse Photographers of Sexual Abuse


Mario Testino, possibly the most famous fashion photographer in the world, has been banned from working with Vogue and other magazines in the Condé Nast group for allegedly molesting young male models, it was reported on Sunday.

The New York Times also claimed that another photographer, Bruce Weber, faced claims of inappropriate behaviour by 15 male models.

In a statement to the newspaper from his lawyer, Weber said: "I'm completely shocked and saddened by the outrageous claims being made against me, which I absolutely deny".

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can seek help by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).

Weber is known for his provocative photo shoots for brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Calvin Klein.

Mr Testino, 63, took the official photo for Prince William's engagement to Kate Middleton and was awarded an OBE in 2014. Ryan Locke, a former Gucci model who worked with Testino during the 1990s, called the photographer a "sexual predator".

Hugo Tillman, who worked as an assistant in the 90s, said that Testino grabbed him on the street one night and tried to kiss him.

Reps for both photographers are adamantly denying the models' accounts, which the Times said were recalled "with remarkable consistency". He also recently shot Serena Williams' February Vogue cover with her daughter Alexis.

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The accusers claimed they felt pressured into going along with it for fear their careers would be damaged.

He is quoted as saying: "He shuts the door and locks it, then he crawls on the bed, climbs on top of me and says, "I'm the girl, you're the boy".

'We never had sex or anything, but a lot of things happened.

Some models referred to the sessions as being "Brucified". "I was often made to feel uncomfortable on shoots, asked to massage Mario in front of other assistants, models and fashion editors", Tillman alleges in the New York Times pice. "A lot of molestation", at Weber's hands.

In a statement on the Vogue website, Wintour said: "I take the allegations very seriously, and we at Conde Nast have chose to put our working relationship with both photographers on hold for the foreseeable future".

The 68-year-old artistic director of Condé Nast declared their company will now follow a new Code of Conduct which states that models must be informed of situations before they're performed and must be consented to before the fact.

"Both photographers, who deny the claims, have been banned by Condé Nast, publishers of the world's leading fashion magazines, including Vogue", according to The Sunday Times.

"Recreational drugs are not permitted", and any shoot involving nudity, skimpy clothing or sexual poses "must be approved in advance by the subject".