A second model has come forward to accuse fashion photographer Bruce Weber of sexual harassment.
Last week, model Jason Boyce filed a lawsuit against Weber, claiming the photographer sexually harassed him in 2014. Another model, Mark Ricketson, on Tuesday detailed new allegations of sexual harassment against Weber at a press conference, standing alongside his lawyer Lisa Bloom and Boyce.
Ricketson said Weber preyed on him during a 2005 shoot at the photographer’s Manhattan studio.
“He told me I ‘looked tense’ and proceeded to press his thumb on my forehead,” Ricketson said. “He then took my hand and told me to ‘find the energy’ by guiding my hand and rubbing it on one of three places: my forehead, chest or my stomach.”
He continued: “Each time the ‘energy’ in my stomach would get lower and lower until I had to navigate the remaining space left before having to touch myself. I felt ashamed and embarrassed.”
Ricketson said that he acquiesced to Weber’s requests because he feared that if he didn’t, he would be blacklisted. Ricketson is unable to file a lawsuit, as the statute of limitations for sexual harassment in New York is three years, but may testify as a corroborating witness in Boyce’s case.
Weber’s representatives did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Weber is, however, already facing non-legal repercussions from the accusations: On Tuesday, Vanity Fair canceled a party to honor the photographer in Art Basel in Miami.
Rumors of sexual misconduct within the fashion industry have been rampant for years, notably in regard to photographer Terry Richardson, who’s been accused of sexual harassment and assault by several women.
In 2001, a model walked out of a photo shoot with the photographer after claiming “he wanted me to be completely naked and pretend to give one of the men a blow job, while he was also naked.” In 2010, model Jamie Peck alleged Richardson got naked on the set of a photo shoot and asked her to touch his penis after suggesting she let him play with her used tampon. And in 2014, a woman named Anna del Gaizo told Jezebel that Richardson “shoved his hardening dick into [her] face” in 2008.
Richardson denied the accusations in a contributor piece for HuffPost in 2014.
A few brands, such as shoe company Aldo and Target, as well as Vogue U.S., stopped working with Richardson after the 2014 accusations surfaced. Others in the industry, like Sky Ferreira and Tom Ford, have continued to come to his defense.
And Richardson has remained in demand, shooting covers for various publications and brands, despite the questions surrounding his behavior. Only this year did Condé Nast International, Valentino and Bulgari say they would stop working with the photographer, who had a photo spread in Vogue Paris as recently as August.
While some may think sexual misconduct is not an issue in fashion, one only has to look at Cameron Russell’s Instagram page to see the reality. Last month, the model began posting stories other models had shared with her, detailing their experiences with sexual harassment and/or assault.
Sarah Ziff, the founder of Model Alliance and a former model, has long been vocal about the problem, which she discussed in her 2009 documentary “Picture Me.” Last month, she told Cosmopolitan, “Our safety and wellbeing has clearly and consistently come second to the business interests of industry figures with longstanding relationships with designers, editors, casting directors, executives, brands (and so on) — people who often wield great power and influence behind the scenes.”
Supermodel Christy Turlington has also suggested that predatory behavior is widespread, telling WWD, “The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experienced at some point in our careers.”
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