On Jan. 13, The New York Times released an exposé detailing multiple claims of sexual harassment and exploitation leveled against top fashion photographer Bruce Weber and Mario Testino. In the case of Weber, 15 current and former male models spoke to The Times about their personal experiences on set.
After the report surfaced, Weber vehemently denied the claims, telling the outlet, “I'm completely shocked and saddened by the outrageous claims being made against me, which I absolutely deny. I have used common breathing exercises and professionally photographed thousands of nude models over my career, but never touched anyone inappropriately. Given my life’s work, these twisted and untrue allegations are truly disheartening. I've been taking pictures for over 40 years and have the utmost respect for everyone I've ever photographed. I would never, ever, try to hurt anyone or prevent someone from succeeding—it’s just not in my character”
Just days later, more allegations of Weber’s sexual misconduct were revealed by Business of Fashion. In an article published on Jan. 17, several new sources came forward and described experiences dating back to the early 1980s.
Among them, four male models, who came forward on the record to BoF.
Former male model and memoirist D.L. Janney provided the earliest account, which took place during a photo shoot in 1982. Weber allegedly asked Janney to strip completely nude for him so he could be considered as an underwear model for his client Calvin Klein and told Janney the photos would not be published and were for “his own use, and to show Calvin.” After Janney refused to be photographed completely nude, he says Weber ignored him for the rest of the day.
Fit model Christopher Cates claimed that during a shoot at the photographer’s home in 2006, each model was asked to join him alone in a guest bedroom upstairs. Upon entering the room, Cates says he was asked to remove his clothes and was then fondled by Weber. Photos were also taken in the room, though Cates believes they were never put to professional use.
Former model Alex Geerman also came forward, citing that in 2008 Weber had asked him to do “breathing exercises” which evolved into non-consensual touching of his genitals. Another incident from 2008 was reported by model Ryan Vigilant, who also alleged that the photographer had touched him inappropriately on set.