Bombshell Report Details Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Bruce Weber and Mario Testino

Mario Testino Bruce Weber

Bombshell Report Details Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Bruce Weber and Mario Testino

Model Ryan Locke describes Testino, who took the historic engagement portrait of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2014, as a "sexual predator".

According to a New York Times investigation, the two acclaimed photographers exploited young assistants and models throughout their respective careers, subjecting them to sexual advances, including groping and masturbation, during photoshoots.

A New York Times investigative piece published earlier today has accused elite fashion photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber of sexual misconduct, with dozens of male models coming forward to accuse the pair of "coercive sexual behaviour" as well as "groping" and other inappropriate contact.

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".

He claimed that when he told contemporaries he was working with the Peru-born photographer they would joke: "tighten your belt", labelling him as "notorious".

Law firm Lavely & Singer, which represents Testino, challenged the credibility and characters of the people accusing him of harassment, writing that it had spoken with several former employees of Testino who were "shocked by the allegations" and "could not confirm any of the claims".

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United States photographer Weber, 71, was accused by 15 current and former models of subjecting them to unnecessary nudity and coercive sexual behaviour, according to The New York Times.

Model Robyn Sinclair says there was "a lot of touching" and "molestation" involving Weber. "We never had sex or anything, but a lot of things happened".

Models were asked to "breathe" and to touch themselves and Weber, moving their hands wherever they felt "energy", the newspaper said.

"Sexual harassment was a constant reality", he said.

Representatives for both photographers said they were dismayed and surprised by the allegations.

Testino's attorney, Andrew Brettler, said in an email to The Associated Press late Saturday, "We are not providing any further comment at this time".

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Locke alleged that during a photo shoot on a bed, Testino asked his team to leave the room and then climbed onto the bed on top of him.

"I went at him, like, you better get away", Locke said.

"Barrett told the NYT: "(Testino) misbehaved in hotel rooms, the backs of cars and on first-class flights.

"I threw the towel on him, put my clothes on and walked out", the model said.

Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal rocked Hollywood, shaking loose countless stories of abuse in the movie business, the dark side of the fashion industry has been cast into the spotlight as well.

Both Weber and Testino have been deeply embedded in the culture of magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ, and now the magazines' publisher, Condé Nast, has committed to creating new guidelines to protect models from abuse.

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