Spotlight Releases Extensive Report on Sexual Misconduct in Fashion

Photographer Patrick Demarchelier. Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

In a new, extensive report from the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team released Friday, more than 50 male and female models opened up about a range of sexual misconduct they experienced on the job, including big names like Coco Rocha and Abbey Lee. Nearly 60 percent of those interviewed said they had been “touched inappropriately during work-related situations, the violations ranging from unwanted kissing to rape.”

At least 25 photographers, agents, stylists, casting directors, and other industry professionals were reported, with Patrick Demarchelier — who was Princess Diana’s personal photographer — being one of the biggest bombshells on the list.

Other names include fashion photographers David Bellemere, Greg Kadel, Andre Passos, and Seth Sabal. The stylist Karl Templer, who has worked with Coach, Zara, and Tommy Hilfiger, was also accused.

Demarchelier denies the allegation, as do all of the accused men. “People lie and they tell stories,” Demarchelier said. “It’s ridiculous.”

Condé Nast, which recently suspended its relationship with photographers Terry Richardson, Bruce Weber, and Mario Testino, told the Globe that in December, the company stopped working with Demarchelier and Kadel — “for now.” Victoria’s Secret also said it has suspended its relationship with Kadel.

One of of Demarchelier’s former photo assistants told the Globe that model Cameron Russell’s Instagram campaign, #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse, inspired her to write an email in October to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour about “relentless” advances Demarchelier made toward her beginning when she was a 19-year-old intern. When she resisted, she said he would later berate her on the job.

Six other women reported Demarchelier’s unwanted sexual advances, including “thrusting a model’s hands onto her genitals and grabbing another model’s breasts, as well as making vulgar propositions.” Most spoke on the condition of anonymity, for fear of career repercussions.

The Spotlight report goes on to tell numerous other, equally harrowing, stories of sexual misconduct, revealing (once again) how rampant this issue is in the industry, and just how long it’s been going on.

“It’s interesting and frustrating that now people want to finally pay attention,” said Rocha, who goes on the record about misconduct she’s experienced herself. There are “people at the top who no doubt have heard these stories for the last 20 years,” she added, “and haven’t done anything.”

Read the full report here.

Another Major Fashion Photographer Accused of Sexual Abuse