Mario Testino, Bruce Weber fired amid molestation claims


The Times reports that numerous models recounted a similar scenario when talking about Weber: a private "session" where he allegedly requested that the models take off their clothes and participate in "breathing" exercises. A lot of touching.

Men said to the paper that they had asked to participate in "breathing exercises" which could include inappropriate touching, while model Bobby Roache said Weber tried to put his hands down Roache's pants during a casting in 2007.

When approached about the report by this newspaper, a Lavely & Singerspokesman declined to comment.

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 lot of molestation", at Weber's hands.

Allegations against both date back many years, with accusers in some cases recounting details with remarkable consistency, the Times said.

The paper reported that the legal firm representing Testino, 63, said those complaining of harassment could not be considered reliable, and that his lawyers had spoken to several former employees who were "shocked by the allegations" and "could not confirm any of the claims".

"I'm completely shocked and saddened by the outrageous claims being made against me, which I absolutely deny", Weber said in a statement from his lawyer.

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

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". He goes on to clim that Mario once allegedly grabbed him on the street and tried to kiss him.

"I'm the girl and you're the boy", Locke said Testino announced during an ad campaign shoot for Gucci - first ordering everyone else off the set and then crawling on top of Locke, who'd been asked to pose atop a bed. "I threw the towel on him, put my clothes on and walked out".

Former assistants said Testino had a pattern of hiring young, heterosexual men and subjecting them to increasingly aggressive advances.

Another assistant, Roman Barrett, said Testino masturbated in front of him, and added: "Sexual harassment was a constant reality".

Revelations of abuse often have faded away in the fashion industry.

Anna Wintour, artistic director of Conde Nast, which publishes magazines including Vogue and GQ, said the publisher would not work with the pair for the "foreseeable future" following Saturday's report.

The publisher recently distanced itself from Terry Richardson in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, despite the denied claims about the photographer mistreating models having been aired years previously.