Royal photographer Mario Testino accused of sexual exploitation

14 January, 2018, 12:40 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Testino with Lily Aldridge and Doutzen Kroes in September 2017

In December 2017, a male model brought a law suit against Weber claiming sexual harassment.

"I was often made to feel uncomfortable on shoots, asked to massage Mario in front of other assistants, models and fashion editors", Tillman alleges in the New York Times pice. The 63-year-old fashion photographer has captured the likenesses of the Royal family and many other well known celebrities, including Serena Williams for the latest cover of Vogue.

"Sexual harassment was a constant reality", Roman Barrett, a former Testino assistant, who worked for him in the 1990s, told The Times.

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

Mr Testino's lawyers challenged the credibility of the accusers, telling the Times they had spoken to several former employees who were "shocked by the allegations".

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

And fellow model Ryan Locke described Testino as a "sexual predator" who he claims was aggressive and flirtatious throughout one naked shoot before ordering everyone else out of the room.

Naomi Watts Michael Kors Nicole Kidman and Mario Testino
Naomi Watts Michael Kors Nicole Kidman and Mario Testino

The New York Times also claimed that another photographer, Bruce Weber, faced claims of inappropriate behaviour by 15 male models.

While Voguehas worked with both Mario and Bruce, and with Mario as recently as their February 2018 issue, they will no longer be working with either of the photographers in light of the allegations.

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. "[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".

Several industries have been rocked by sexual-abuse allegations since women started coming forward to complain about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who has apologized for causing colleagues "a lot of pain" but has denied "any allegations of non-consensual sex".

He is quoted as saying: "He shuts the door and locks it, then he crawls on the bed, climbs on top of me and says, "I'm the girl, you're the boy".

"I went at him, like, you better get away", Locke said. Last year, models Jason Boyce and Mark Ricketson sued him for sexual assault, and the Times piece features input from fifteen current and former models, all of whom have similar stories about working with him.

"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.

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