Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

Stuart Weitzman Cuts Ties With Photographer Mario Testino

The Duke of Cambridge with Mario Testino The Duke of Cambridge with Mario Testino
Lora Ball | 14 January, 2018, 12:37

Publishing giant Condé Nast has said it would stop working with both men in the wake of a New York Times report Saturday that quoted current and former male models and male assistants who accused Weber and Testino of abusing their power by subjecting them to coercive sexual behavior.

Model Mark Ricketson (lt.) with his attorney Lisa Bloom (c.) and model Jason Boyce, who are accusing photographer Bruce Weber of sexual misconduct, at The Bloom Firm in California on December 5, 2017.

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

A number of models and former assistants have recalled alleged incidents to The New York Times that accuse both Testino, 63, and Weber, 71 of sexual misconduct.

Testino, adored by celebrities, glossy magazines including Vogue and younger members of the British royal family, was accused of groping and making sexual come-ons, the newspaper said.

Photographic assistant Hugo Tillman said Testino once grabbed him on the street and tried to kiss him and, a few weeks later, pinned him down on a bed until he was removed by another person.

Weber responded to the claims via a statement from his lawyer, saying, "I'm completely shocked and saddened by the outrageous claims being made against me, which I absolutely deny". Similarly, Testino's law firm refuted the allegations, adding that they contacted previous employees who "could not confirm any of the claims".

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Actor Kevin Spacey was booted from various major projects after he was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple men.

"A sexual predator", model Ryan Locke told the Times of Testino.

The New York Times also claimed that another photographer, Bruce Weber, faced claims of inappropriate behaviour by 15 male models. 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. "[But] if you said you were not going to work with someone like Bruce Weber or Mario Testino, you might as well just pack it in and go work in another industry".

Both are personal friends of mine who have made extraordinary contributions to Vogue and many other titles at Condé Nast over the years, and both have issued objections or denials to what has emerged. After Testino allegedly demanded that everyone leave the set, Locke recounted that the photographer allegedly "shuts the door and locks it". Both photographers denied the allegations through legal representatives.

Locke alleges he pushed the photographer away, got dressed and left. "I threw the towel on him, put my clothes on and walked out".

In light of the allegations, Wintour announced a new code of conduct for Conde Nast contributors in an article published on Vogue.com.

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