Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Models accuse photographers Weber, Testino of sex misconduct

Model Mark Ricketson left speaks during a press conference with his attorney Lisa Bloom center and model Jason Boyce who are accusing Models accuse photographers Weber, Testino of sex misconduct
Stacy Diaz | 14 January, 2018, 20:38

Anna Wintour, artistic director of Conde Nast, which publishes Vogue and GQ, said their magazines would not work with the photographers for the "foreseeable future" following the claims.

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.

"I believe strongly in the value of remorse and forgiveness, but 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".

In a statement to the New York Times from his lawyer, Weber said he was "shocked and saddened by the outrageous claims being made against me, which I absolutely deny". He shot Prince William and Kate Middleton's engagement photos, photographed Madonna with her first daughter as a baby for Vanity Fair and arranged Princess Diana's 1997 cover shoot. But his name is now making headlines after the New York Times reports that 13 male models and assistants who've worked with the famed photographer allege that he committed various acts of sexually inappropriate behavior toward them. "A lot of molestation", at Weber's hands.

Ryan Locke, who has modeled in major campaigns, described a couple of incidents with Testino to The Times, calling the photographer "a sexual predator".

The firm also said several former employees it had spoken to were "shocked by the allegations" and "could not confirm any of the claims", according to The New York Times.

Mario Testino and Bruce Weber have been suspended by various fashion magazines, including Vogue, after models accused the top fashion photographers of sexually exploiting them.

In 2014, the Peruvian photographer was made an honorary OBE for his services to photography and charity.

One assistant, who wished to remain anonymous, said Testino masturbated on him during a business trip, while another said he was groped on the backside, the paper said.

Fifteen current and former models told the Times that Weber's demands often occurred during photo shoots and other private sessions.

Even as we stand with victims of abuse and misconduct, we must also hold a mirror up to ourselves - and ask if we are doing our utmost to protect those we work with so that unacceptable conduct never happens on our watch.

Model Josh Ardolf claimed that Weber grabbed his genitals during a nude shoot. In addition to the Weitzman brand, the Condé Nast organization has severed ties with both Testino and Weber, according to reports from FN's sister publication WWD.

The new Code of Conduct includes only hiring models above the age of 18 and alcohol is no longer allowed on Condé Nast sets.

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