Abercrombie & Fitch: Former CEO accused of exploiting aspiring models at sex parties
The former CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, along with his partner, have been accused of allegedly exploiting men hired for sex parties the couple hosted.
Mike Jeffries and Matthew Smith have been named in a BBC Panorama investigation into the ex-fashion boss, with numerous reported victims telling the broadcaster of their involvement with the pair, many of whom were aspiring models keen to break into the industry.
The BBC claims to have uncovered a “highly organised network” which was used to find young men to attend parties held by Jeffries and Smith, and a middleman who would also take advantage of the men.
The middleman told the BBC all the men involved did so “with their eyes wide open”, but eight people have made claims that they were “exploited or abused”.
Neither Jeffries or Smith have responded to the BBC’s request for comment on the allegations.
The BBC says two former US prosecutors who reviewed its evidence have called for an investigation into sex trafficking charges being brought in the US.
Attending parties could ‘make’ a model’s career
The BBC has been investigating Jeffries and his partner for two years, and of the men spoken to who attended the parties, half of them claimed that were misled about the nature of the events, while others were aware the parties were of a sexual nature.
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One man, who hoped to become model, told the BBC that he attended an event in the Hamptons, Long Island in 2010, under the impression that Jeffries could “make his career”. He claims he was given poppers and had sex with the former A&F boss.
Another, was told “you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do” by an older model, but who also added: “The further you go, the better”.
The BBC also found that men were paid between $500-$1000 to attend the parties, and most were “sexually auditioned” by the middleman before being introduced to the wealthy couple.
Other details include some men having their body hair shaved, while all signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
Staff working for the couple said they were told to vacate the Hampton property every Saturday afternoon.
The incidents are alleged to have taken place at Jeffries’ New York home, as well as in hotels across the world.
Jeffries joined Abercrombie & Fitch in 1992, reviving its fortunes and running it for more than two decades, until he stepped down amid declining sales in 2014.
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