[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
The former CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch is under fire after some serious allegations were made against him!
Mike Jeffries and his partner Matthew Smith have been charged with sexual exploitation after eight men alleged the pair facilitated their recruitment for sex events they held between 1992 and 2014 – the year he resigned. Buckle up, Perezcious readers, because the details of her operation are pretty horrific.
According to a new bombshell report from BBCJeffries and Smith ran a “well-oiled machine” in which they used “recruiters” to attract young men, many of whom were aspiring models Sex events in London, Paris, Venice and Marrakesh. The “middleman” or “casting agent” involved in the plan was Jim Jacobsonwho allegedly found all the young men – and received up to $1,000 for each referral.
Half of the men said they were recruited by Jacobson – but were deceived about the nature of the parties or not informed that sex was involved. Others said they knew what was going on at these parties but didn’t know what was expected of them. They were all paid to take part in the hope of getting a modeling gig at Abercrombie & Fitch.
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But even before the incident, the victims allege that Jacobson frequently “auditioned” them sexually, either asking or offering to perform oral sex – only then did he introduce them to Jeffries and Smith. Some of the young men were then sent to a personal “groomer” and had their body hair shaved off before heading to the party – an experience some of them described as “inhumane”. They were all forced to sign non-disclosure agreements and declare that they would be sued if they ever spoke about what happened. They were also not allowed to keep copies of this document.
Despite signing non-disclosure agreements, many are now bravely coming forward with their stories. David Bradberry He recalled being introduced to Jacobson in 2010 by an agent who said he was “the gatekeeper to the owners” of the fashion brand. David, who was just 23 at the time, told the BBC that during the meeting Jacobson suggested that he be photographed by Abercrombie & Fitch’s official photographer Bruce Weber.
According to the BBC, Weber often photographed the aspiring models that Jacobson later introduced to Jeffries – but first he allegedly did a “test run” with them. David said he was led to think, “This is where everyone starts,” adding:
“Jim made it clear to me that if I didn’t let him perform oral sex on me, I wouldn’t date A&F or Mike Jeffries. I was paralyzed. It was like he was selling fame. And the price was compliance.”
David went through with it – and was then paid $500. Looking back, he realizes that the meeting was “a warning sign,” but he believed that Jim was “just a creepy old guy that I never needed to see again.” That was not the case. David met him after accepting an invitation to a daytime event at Mike’s home in the Hamptons. Before the event, Jacobson allegedly gave him an A&F gift card to purchase an outfit – which made him feel like the whole thing was “legitimate” and “official.”
While in the villa, David told both Mike and Matthew about his dream of becoming a model for Abercrombie & Fitch. Then, he says, things took a turn and Jeffries took “poppers” before having sex with him. During the incident, David told the BBC that he “didn’t feel safe saying ‘no’ or ‘I’m not comfortable with that'” due to the home’s “remote” location and the presence of Jeffries’ staff gave the victims envelopes containing thousands of dollars in cash as they left.
This doesn’t sound like a legitimate practice in the fashion industry, but more like sex trafficking.
David wasn’t the only one to speak out. Barrett Pall shared with that BBC He was recruited for these events in 2011 at the age of 22 and was told by a recruiter, an older A&F model, that he would be a “surrogate” for “any sexual experience with the couple.” Although Barrett didn’t want to be a part of it, he felt he had to since the recruiter had helped him financially.
When Barrett accepted, the recruiter told him that “the further you get, the better” – alluding to the fact that sex would give him some career opportunities. He remembered one of the other men recruited for the event performing oral sex on him while Mike and Matthew watched. When the couple began dating two other men, Barrett claimed Jeffries groped him from behind:
“I think this experience broke me. I think it took away every ounce of innocence I had left. It messed me up mentally. But with the language I have today, I can sit here and tell you that I was taken advantage of.”
So, so terrible. At this time, neither Jeffries nor Smith have commented on the allegations. However, a spokesperson for Abercrombie & Fitch stated this The post:
“We are appalled and outraged by the conduct described in the allegations against Mr. Jeffries, whose employment with Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ended in 2014, nearly 10 years ago.” Speaking up and speaking out is not easy, and our thoughts go out to those who courageously raised their voices.”
They further revealed that the brand has “engaged an external law firm to conduct an independent investigation into the issues raised,” adding:
“The company’s current leadership team and board were unaware of Mr. Jeffries’ allegations of sexual misconduct. We do not tolerate abuse, harassment or discrimination of any kind.”
Meanwhile, two former prosecutors in the US have called for an investigation to be launched to determine whether sex trafficking charges should be brought against them.
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If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence and would like to learn more about resources, you should take a look https://www.rainn.org/resources.
[Image via CNBC/YouTube]