Why do Abercrombie & Fitch models have “that look” on their faces in their oft-racy photos? One model’s lawsuit claims it’s because he was forced to take matters into his own hands by masturbating before a photo shoot.
A&F model Benjamine Bowers is suing the retailer and a modeling agent for $1 million.
Bowers claims he worked retail at an A&F store until the company’s casting director referred him to a modeling agent in June 2011. That’s when the alleged hands-on activity took place.
After being flown to Mississippi to take part in a photo shoot, Abercrombie & Fitch model Benjamine Bowers claims the modeling agent told him he needed to look more relaxed.
To achieve a relaxed look, the modeling agent allegedly told Bowers to strip naked and masturbate in front of the camera “so the photog could capture his expression immediately after,”
Bowers allegedly complied, according to his lawsuit. The modeling agent then allegedly exposed himself as well, and made comments comparing their genitalia.
“Benjamine feels used and believes the photos were never intended to help his career … but just to give [the modeling agent] a cheap thrill.
News reports do not indicate Bowers’ age, or what exactly he’s suing for. Workplace sexual harassment is one possibility; emotional distress could be another.
Abercrombie & Fitch, based in New Albany, Ohio, is no stranger to controversy. The company has been forced to pull catalogs featuring naked models in suggestive poses, and also paid $40 million to employees in a discrimination lawsuit.
The modeling agent being sued by Benjamine Bowers declined to comment to TMZ about the Abercrombie model’s masturbation lawsuit.
Read More: Reuters