Mario Testino and Bruce Weber Accused of Sexual Exploitation in New York Times Investigation
In an investigative report published today by The New York Times, 28 male models and assistants have accused leading fashion photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber of a pattern of sexual exploitation and harassment.
Rumors of the investigation by The New York Times into behavior of industry professionals has been looming since before the Thanksgiving holiday. Writers Jacob Bernstein, Vanessa Friedman, and Matthew Schneier reported the story regarding 13 male assistants and models with consistent accounts going back to the mid-1990s regarding Mario Testino and 15 current and former male models regarding Bruce Weber.
Both photographers’ representatives objected to the allegations. Mr. Testino’s law firm has “challenged the characters and credibility of people who complained of harassment” whom they state “cannot be considered reliable sources,” while Mr. Weber’s lawyer issues a statement that the allegations of the models were “untrue” and that he had “never touched anyone inappropriately.”
Publishing giant Condé Nast issued a statement to The New York Times from Anna Wintour, artistic director of Condé Nast and EIC of Vogue, and Robert A. Sauerberg Jr., chief executive of Condé Nast, saying: “We are deeply disturbed by these accusations and take this very seriously. In light of these allegations, we will not be commissioning any new work with Bruce Weber and Mario Testino for the foreseeable future.”
In addition Condé Nast has redefined their code of conduct to no longer work with models who are younger than 18 and banning alcohol from sets. Models are recommended to not be left alone with photographers, makeup artists or other contributors and any nudity will be detailed and agreed in advance of the shoot.