Influential photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber accused of sexual misconduct

Influential photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber accused of sexual misconduct

U.S. photographer Weber, 71, is accused by 15 current and former models of subjecting them to unnecessary nudity and coercive sexual behaviour, according to the New York Times.

Several models told The Times that during the private session with Weber, the photographer forced them to give nude pose for test shoots, he would start "breathing exercises" which would lead him to inappropriate touching.

Weber's work includes campaigns for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch as well as several films.

Mr Testino, 63, took the official photo for Prince William's engagement to Kate Middleton and was awarded an OBE in 2014.

Representatives for Weber and Testino said they were shocked by the allegations.

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". A law firm representing Testino challenges the character and credibility of people who complained of harassment.

Even as we stand with victims of abuse and misconduct, we must also hold a mirror up to ourselves - and ask if we are doing our utmost to protect those we work with so that unacceptable conduct never happens on our watch.

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Model Ryan Locke worked with Testino on Gucci ad campaigns and calls him a "sexual predator". "A lot of molestation". According to Locke, at a shoot in the late 1990s, Testino asked his team to clear the room and then climbed on top of him. At that point, Mario's brother allegedly came into the room and told him to get off the assistant.

Lawyers acting for Testino, who is famous for his fashion portraits and photographs of the Royal Family, dismissed the models' accounts, while Weber's lawyers have also denied the claims, the paper said. "I threw the towel on him, put my clothes on and walked out".

Another model, Bobby Roache, alleged that Weber tried to put his hands down his pants during a casting in 2007.

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. "I already made it this far'".

In her statement on the Vogue website, Wintour said: "Both (photographers) are personal friends of mine who have made extraordinary contributions to Vogue and many other titles at Conde Nast over the years, and both have issued objections or denials to what has emerged".

Creative Director of Condè Nast Anna Wintour alongside Chief Executive Bob Sauerberg released a joint statement: "In light of these allegations, we will not be commissioning any new work with Bruce Weber and Mario Testino for the foreseeable future".

All models appearing in Conde Nast-commissioned fashion shoots must now be 18 or older, according to the new rules.

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