Jason Boyce claims legendary fashion photographer Bruce Weber sexually harassed him during a 2014 photo shoot. At the time of the alleged incident, Boyce was 28, and Weber was 68.
Boyce filed a lawsuit on December 1, accusing Weber of pressuring him to remove his clothes and masturbate during the photo session. This event reportedly occurred in Weber’s Manhattan studio. According to the New York Post, the complaint alleges when Joyce balked at the direction, Weber “grabbed Mr. Boyce’s arm, and moved it back and forth, so that Mr. Boyce was forced to rub his own genitals.” Furthermore, Boyce states the photographer put his fingers in Boyce’s mouth, and forced a kiss before Boyce left the photo shoot. The model remembers being “terrified and repulsed.”
Boyce recalls Weber whispering comments like “How far do you want to make it? How ambitious are you?” Sounds like something out of Showgirls, right?
Because of Weber’s behavior, Boyce asserts he “suffered humiliation, emotional anguish and lost economic opportunities, including the end of his modeling career in New York.” Given Weber’s esteem in the fashion industry, the complaint explains Boyce harbored “intense dread” at the thought of pursuing a modeling career, and “worried that he would continue to run into Mr. Weber throughout his career.” Boyce moved to California to avoid future contact.
Although advanced notice of nudity for models is the normal professional practice, Boyce was not prepared for Weber’s directions to disrobe, though he complied as beforehand his agent pressured him to “nail this” job because of the photographer’s distinguished reputation. Boyce’s agent at the time was Jason Kanner of Soul Artist Management.
The day after the photo shoot, Kanner inquired about the go-see, to which Boyce replied via text, “weird.” Kanner dropped Boyce in September 2016. Boyce alleged in court documents that Kanner and Soul Artist Management have repeatedly referred other male models to Weber even though they “are aware of such conduct.”
Weber forged his impressive career starting in the late 1970s with GQ magazine covers, and made big waves with his ad campaigns of luscious black and white images for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch featuring plenty of buff young men wearing nothing or next to nothing. One of his most iconic images is that of Marky Mark aka Mark Wahlberg grabbing his jewels through snug Calvin Klein boxer briefs. This penchant Weber has for a particular young masculine stereotype was exalted to the film format with critically acclaimed documentaries Broken Noses focusing on (gorgeous) teenage boxers, and Let’s Get Lost about jazz trumpeter Chet Baker whose 1950s magnetism was compared to that of James Dean.
Joyce’s allegations against Weber are similar to recent reports of predatory behaviors linked to numerous media moguls, stories of which continue to dominate news cycles.
Weber has been called the “Harvey Weinstein of fashion” by male model, Daryl Janney, who is currently using the line to promote his personal memoir, Blacklisted, in which he recounts interactions with the photographer.