NEW YORK (AFP) - The Boston Globe published a bombshell expose on Friday (Feb 16) accusing more than two dozen professionals in the fashion industry, among them legendary photographer Patrick Demarchelier, of sexual misconduct.
The paper's Spotlight team, which in 2002 unveiled widespread sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Boston, said more than 50 models had detailed alleged misconduct they had experienced, from touching to assault.
Collectively, they made credible claims against at least 25 photographers, agents, stylists, casting directors and other industry professionals, the Globe reported.
They include Demarchelier, fellow photographer Greg Kadel, who has worked for Victoria's Secret and Vogue, and stylist Karl Templer, who has worked with Coach, Zara, and Tommy Hilfiger.
The Globe said all of those accused had denied the allegations against them.
Nevertheless, glossy magazine empire Conde Nast, whose company includes Vogue, had said it has stopped working for now with Demarchelier and Kadel.
The Globe said one of Demarchelier's former assistants complained about relentless sexual demands, to which she eventually submitted, fearing that she would otherwise endanger her position.
Six other women accused the now 74-year-old Frenchman of unwanted advances, including thrusting a model's hands onto her genitals and grabbing another model's breasts, the Globe said.
Demarchelier did not immediately respond to an AFP request to comment.
He was quoted by the Globe as saying the complaints against him were untrue.
"People lie and they tell stories," he said.
The sexual harassment watershed engulfing the United States has already rocked the fashion industry, with allegations of misconduct seeing photographers Terry Richardson, Mario Testino and Bruce Weber barred from collaborating with Conde Nast.
The magazine empire has issued a new "Code of Conduct" to include bans on alcohol on sets and the use of models under the age of 18 without a chaperone present. Nudity or "sexually suggestive" poses are to be agreed on beforehand.
The Globe said some models wanted to expose serial predators while others wanted new legal protections and radical reform in an industry they say left them feeling exploited.