A professional model has accused world-renowned fashion photographer Bruce Weber of sexual harassment and discrimination in a lawsuit alleging “casting couch practices.”
The lawsuit, filed today in New York City by attorneys for model Jason Boyce, also names Weber’s company, Little Bear Inc., modeling agent Jason Kanner and Kanner’s company Soul Artist Management, which has represented Boyce since 2013.
Boyce is seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages, as well as damages for emotional distress.
“I’m very proud to represent Jason Boyce in this important case,” Boyce’s attorney Lisa Bloom said.
Representatives for Weber, Little Bear Inc., Kanner and Soul Artist Management did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
According to the lawsuit, which was obtained by ABC News, Boyce claimed that during a December 2014 photo shoot with Weber he was “subjected to a series of practices by Mr. Weber that were unlike any he had experienced previously.”
The lawsuit described actions by Weber that made Boyce “clearly uncomfortable” under the guise of furthering his modeling career. The model has alleged that Weber removed Boyce’s underwear and forced Boyce to touch his own genitals.
“Terrified and repulsed, Mr. Boyce closed his eyes, hoping Mr. Weber would stop,” the lawsuit said. “Mr. Weber put his fingers in Mr. Boyce’s mouth. Shocked, Mr. Boyce opened his eyes. Mr. Weber told him to keep his eyes closed, and kept his fingers in Mr. Boyce’s mouth. ‘If you just had confidence, you’d go really far,’ Mr. Weber whispered. ‘How far do you want to make it? How ambitious are you?’ Mr. Boyce did not respond.”
By the next year, feeling “intense dread” at the prospect of seeing Weber again, Boyce went home to California and never returned to modeling in New York. He’s suing over humiliation, emotional anguish and lost economic opportunities.