But his name is now making headlines after the New York Times reports that 13 male models and assistants who've worked with the famed photographer allege that he committed various acts of sexually inappropriate behavior toward them. "Today, allegations have been made against Bruce Weber and Mario Testino, stories that have been hard to hear and heartbreaking to confront".
The models recalled private sessions and shoots with Weber in which he asked them to undress and led them through breathing and "energy" exercises that included breathing while they touched both themselves and Weber. Weber often would guide the models' hands with his own, the newspaper reported. One claimed that Weber put his fingers in his mouth, and added that they didn't have sex but there was "a lot of molestation" and touching. A lot of touching.
Numerous accusers spoke on the condition of anonymity.
"It was general practice to give a model a heads-up about a specific photographer who we knew had a certain reputation", Gene Kogan said of his time working as an agent at Next Management between 1996 and 2002.More news: Facebook (FB) Given a $215.00 Price Target at Morgan Stanley
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Model Mark Ricketson (lt.) with his attorney Lisa Bloom (c.) and model Jason Boyce, who are accusing photographer Bruce Weber of sexual misconduct, at The Bloom Firm in California on December 5, 2017.
Photographic assistant Hugo Tillman said Testino once grabbed him on the street and tried to kiss him and, a few weeks later, pinned him down on a bed until he was removed by another person. After Testino allegedly demanded that everyone leave the set, Locke recounted that the photographer allegedly "shuts the door and locks it. Then things would go back to normal, and that made you feel gaslighted".
The Times notes that representatives for both Weber and Testino have denied the claims.
Mr Weber told the paper in a statement from his lawyer: "I'm completely shocked and saddened by the outrageous claims being made against me, which I absolutely deny". The law firm representing Mr. Testino challenged the credibility of those alleging sexual misconduct. Testino's lawyer also responded, claiming that the models The New York Times had spoken to "cannot be considered reliable sources". "I believe strongly in the value of remorse and forgiveness, but I take the allegations very seriously, and we at Condé Nast have chose to put our working relationship with both photographers on hold for the foreseeable future". The organization seeks to protect models from workplace harassment, as well as pressures "to engage in starvation dieting". The company has also put into effect new policies regarding protocol on photo shoots, as well as model's rights, details of which are forthcoming. However, there are movements in the works to combat these trends, such as The Model Alliance, which was founded in 2012 by Sara Ziff.