Celeb photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber accused of sexual harassment

Getty Images Mario Testino and Bruce Weber

Mario Testino and Bruce Weber, two of the biggest names in fashion photography, have come under fire for an alleged pattern of sexual abuse and exploitation by dozens of male models and assistants who said their photo shoots went way too far, according to a report. "Today, allegations have been made against Bruce Weber and Mario Testino, stories that have been hard to hear and heartbreaking to confront". During these sessions, the models claim that Weber asked them to touch themselves and him, and claim that he allegedly touched them as well.

"I remember him putting his fingers in my mouth, and him grabbing my privates", said model Robyn Sinclair.

"We never had sex or anything, but a lot of things happened - a lot of touching, a lot of molestation". A lot of touching.

"I felt helpless", model Josh Ardolf told The Times, referring to one such experience when he was 20 years old.

Numerous accusers spoke on the condition of anonymity. To that end, agent Gene Kogan explained to The Times: "It was general practice to give a model a heads-up about a specific photographer who we knew had a certain reputation".

They added that the publisher had made a decision to stop working with Testino and Weber "for the foreseeable future".

Testino, who famously photographed a radiant Princess Diana in the last official portraits before her tragic death, subjected 13 male assistants to "sexual advances" including groping and masturbation.

He described his casting experience in the photographer's hotel room during which Testino greeted him in a loose dressing grown.

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"Sexual harassment was a constant reality", said Roman Barrett, an assistant to Testino in the late 1990s who said the photographer rubbed up against his leg with an erection and masturbated in front of him. One recalled a shoot at which he was "aggressive and flirtatious" and at one point climbed on top of him in a bed and said "I'm the girl, you're the boy".

Model Bobby Roache said Weber tried to put his hands down Roache's pants during a casting in 2007.

The Times notes that representatives for both Weber and Testino have denied 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. The law firm representing Mr. Testino challenged the credibility of those alleging sexual misconduct.

Weber and Testino have worked with numerous fashion houses and magazine titles, including ones owned by Condé Nast, Teen Vogue's parent company.

The paper reported that lawyers for Testino, 63, said the sources could not be considered reliable.

"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", she said in a statement. The organization seeks to protect models from workplace harassment, as well as pressures "to engage in starvation dieting".

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