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Fashion Photographers Mario Testino & Bruce Weber Accused Of Abusing Models

14 January 2018

A New York Times article released today reports that 13 male assistants and models who worked with Testino are claiming that he "subjected them to sexual advances that in some cases included groping and masturbation".

Weber's racy advertisements for Calvin Klein, Abercrombie & Fitch and other companies helped turn him into a star in commercial and fine art photography.

In further detail, model Robyn Sinclair told The Times: "I remember him putting his fingers in my mouth, and him grabbing my privates".

Testino, who is renowned for taking the most iconic photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales months before her death, and Weber have since been suspended from working with Condé Nast titles such as Vogue and GQ.

Mario Testino with Kate Moss
GETTY CLOSE PALS Mario Testino with Kate Moss in 2016

Lawyers for Testino, known for photographing the Royal Family, tried to discredit their accounts while Weber denied the claims to The New York Times, whose investigative report detailed a string of allegations.

The men recall private sessions in which Weber would ask them to strip down and lead them through breathing and "energy" exercises, in which they would touch both themselves and the photographer.

"We never had sex or anything, but a lot of things happened - a lot of touching, a lot of molestation".

In a statement to the paper from his lawyer, Weber said: "I'm completely shocked and saddened by the outrageous claims being made against me, which I absolutely deny". A law firm representing Testino said that it had spoken to "former employees" who were "shocked" and "could not confirm the claims". "He misbehaved in hotel rooms, the backs of cars and on first-class flights", he said.

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Locked alleged that Testino later climbed on top of him during the Gucci shoot, saying "I'm the girl, you're the boy".

Locke alleges he pushed the photographer away, got dressed and left. Some of Testino's accusers said that they would not speak publicly about the allegations, noting that they felt pressured to go along with his advances in order to preserve their careers. "I threw the towel on him, put my clothes on and walked out".

Another assistant, Roman Barrett, said sexual harassment was a "constant reality".

Several industries have been rocked by sexual-abuse allegations since women started coming forward to complain about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who has apologised for causing colleagues "a lot of pain".

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"It was general practice to give a model a heads-up about a specific photographer who we knew had a certain reputation", Gene Kogan said of his time working as an agent at Next Management between 1996 and 2002.

In a statement posted on the Vogue website, Anna Wintour also addressed the accusations, while noting that the magazine's publisher, Condé Nast, is rolling out a new Code of Conduct for outside contributors, which includes that models must pre-approve shoots that involve nudity or sexually suggestive poses.

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Fashion Photographers Mario Testino & Bruce Weber Accused Of Abusing Models