November 2, 2023

USA: Lawsuit Accuses Former Ohio-Based Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Of Worldwide Sex Trafficking Ring During His 22-Year Tenure. Lawsuit Estimates 100+ Young Male Models Were Victims.

BBC Select published October 12, 2023: The Abercrombie Guys: The Dark Side of Cool. This documentary deals with sexual abuse. Allegations of exploitation and abuse have emerged at one of the biggest fashion brands in the US. Former CEO Mike Jeffries transformed Abercrombie and Fitch from a failing retail chain to a multibillion-dollar empire and the epitome of cool. Now, after months of painstaking investigation, reporter Rianna Croxford speaks to men who say they were recruited into a dark world, created to satisfy the sexual fantasies of Mike Jeffries and his British partner Matthew Smith. Silenced for years by the fear of breaking non-disclosure agreements, these men describe feeling exploited and traumatized by their experience. One high-profile American lawyer has called for prosecutors to investigate.
NBC News published October 5, 2023: Former head of Abercrombie & Fitch facing sexual abuse allegations. Clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch says it is investigating sexual abuse allegations against ex-CEO Mike Jeffries. BBC News reported that several men are accusing Jeffries of exploiting them for sex. Jeffries' attorney declined to comment to NBC News.
written by William Skipworth, Forbes Staff
Friday October 27, 2023

TOPLINE Abercrombie & Fitch and its former CEO Mike Jeffries were sued Friday over allegations that Jeffries used the company to create a sex trafficking operation of young models—a lawsuit that follows a shocking investigation from the BBC.


This lawsuit follows an investigation published by the BBC earlier this month into Jeffries’ time at Abercrombie. The BBC said it spoke to 12 aspiring models who described “attending or organising events” involving sex acts with Jeffries and Smith, eight of whom attended events. Half of the men attending events reportedly told the BBC they were misled about the sexual nature of the events—though some said they were aware ahead of time that sexual acts would occur. The BBC also interviewed Bradberry, the plaintiff, who said that, during one incident in 2010, a middleman organizing the sex trafficking with Jeffries “made it clear to me that unless I let him perform oral sex on me, that I would not be meeting with Abercrombie & Fitch or Mike Jeffries." Jeffries and Smith did not respond to requests for comment from the BBC during the investigation. At the time of the investigation’s publication, Abercrombie & Fitch said in a statement it was “appalled and disgusted” by the allegations against Jeffries, and said it was working with an outside law firm to independently investigate the issues raised in the BBC report.


Bradberry is being represented by law firm Edwards Henderson Lehrman, the same lawyers that represented Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers in cases against JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank earlier this year. The two banks were accused of ignoring signs of Epstein’s infamous alleged child sex trafficking ring. They ultimately paid settlements that totaled around $365 million, but did not admit wrongdoing.

CBS News
written by Associated Press
Friday October 27, 2023

A former model for Abercrombie & Fitch on Friday sued the fashion retailer, alleging it allowed its former CEO Mike Jeffries to run a sex-trafficking organization during his 22-year tenure.

Jeffries, who left Abercrombie in 2014, converted the chain from an struggling retailer of hunting apparel to a seller of must-have teen clothing. But he faced criticism for the company's sexualized marketing, including billboards and beefy models that alienated potential customers who didn't fit into its image.

The lawsuit comes after a BBC report earlier this month raised similar allegations against Jeffries and his partner Matthew Smith.

The lawsuit, filed by David Bradberry in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges Jeffries had modeling scouts scouring the internet and elsewhere to identify attractive young men seeking to be the next face of Abercrombie. Often these prospective models became sex-trafficking victims, sent to New York and abroad and abused by Jeffries and other men, all under the guise that they were being recruited to become the next Abercrombie model, the lawsuit contends.

"Jeffries was so important to the profitability of the brand that he was given complete autonomy to perform his role as CEO however he saw fit, including through the use of blatant international sex-trafficking and abuse of prospective Abercrombie models," the suit alleges.

The lawsuit names Jeffries, Smith, and the Jeffries Family Office LLC. It seeks class-action status and estimates that over a hundred young models, in addition to Bradberry, were victims.

A&F, based in New Albany, Ohio, declined to comment Friday. Earlier this month, the retailer said that it had hired an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation into the issues raised by the BBC. It said the company's current leaders and board of directors were not aware of the allegations of Jeffries' sexual misconduct.

"For close to a decade, a new executive leadership team and refreshed board of directors  have successfully transformed our brands and culture into the values-driven organization we are today," the company said. "We have zero tolerance for abuse, harassment or discrimination of any kind."

Jeffries' attorney, Brian Bieber, said in a statement that Jeffries "will not comment in the press on this new lawsuit, as he has likewise chosen not to regarding litigation in the past. "

"The courtroom is where we will deal with this matter," Bieber added.

The Jeffries Family Office didn't respond immediately for requests for comment.

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