A male model is suing renowned fashion photographer Bruce Weber for allegedly forcing him to rub his own genitals — and sucking on the man’s fingers — at a creepy casting session.
Jason Boyce says the disturbing incident with Weber — who is best known for his work in Vogue and Rolling Stone magazines — occurred in December 2014 at the photographer’s Manhattan studio.
When Boyce arrived for the shoot three years ago, Weber closed the door to the studio, leaving the two alone in a back room, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit.
“Mr. Boyce, who had been photographed numerous times in the past, was then subjected to a series of practices by Mr. Weber that were unlike any he had experienced previously,” the suit says.
At the time, Boyce was 28, Weber 68.
After snapping a few shots of the steely-eyed blond, who has appeared in Lexus and Amazon ads, Weber told Boyce, “You’re very tense,” straddled him and rubbed oil onto his forehead, the suit says.
“Mr. Weber then instructed Mr. Boyce to stand up for more photographs,” according to court papers.
Weber suddenly ordered Boyce to remove his shirt and pants, even though it’s customary for photographers to provide advance notice if the model will be asked to pose nude, the suit says.
Boyce obeyed, remembering his agent’s instructions that he had to “nail this” because of Weber’s influence in the industry.
Weber’s portfolio includes portraits of a young Richard Gere, Kate Moss and David Bowie.
But the Oklahoma native froze when Weber asked him to expose his genitals, the papers say. After admonishing the model once again for being “so tense,” Weber reached over and removed Boyce’s underwear, the suit says.
After taking more photographs, Weber “instructed Mr. Boyce to put his hands on himself, ‘wherever you feel your energy go,’” according to court papers.
When Boyce put his hand on his chest, Weber moved it down to his groin, the suit says.
“Mr. Weber grabbed Mr. Boyce’s arm, and moved it back and forth, so that Mr. Boyce was forced to rub his own genitals,” the suit says.
Weber then moved Mr. Boyce’s hand to his own groin and put the model’s fingers in his mouth, the suit says.
Boyce recalls being “terrified and repulsed.”
Weber allegedly whispered, “If you just had confidence, you’d go really far” and “How far do you want to make it? How ambitious are you?”
When Boyce didn’t respond, Weber removed the model’s fingers from his mouth, dropped his hand from his genitals and said, “You know what? Put your underwear on. I think we’re done here,” the suit says.
Before Boyce could leave, Weber allegedly grabbed him and kissed him on the lips, according to the filing.
The next day, Boyce’s agent asked how it went, and he texted back, “weird.”
The agent, Jason Kanner of Soul Artist Management, replied that he wasn’t asking about the shoot but rather about the photographs, the suit says.
When Weber tried to contact Boyce over FaceTime in the following months, he made sure to answer only when he was in a visibly public place, the suit says.
Boyce had one more casting call at Weber’s studio, but the photographer was not present.
“Mr. Boyce felt intense dread at the thought of a modeling career in an industry where Mr. Weber was considered by many to be a top photographer and primary champion of male models,” he says in court papers.
“He was worried that he would continue to run into Mr. Weber throughout his career. He experienced anxiety, depression, and high levels of stress,” the suit says.
So he moved back to California and never returned to New York for modeling work, the suit says.
Boyce’s agent dropped him in September 2016.
“Upon information and belief, Mr. Weber has engaged in similar conduct with other male models referred to him by Mr. Kanner and Soul Artist, and Mr. Kanner and Soul Artist are aware of such conduct,” Boyce says in court papers.
Kanner and Weber, who is married to collaborator Nan Bush, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.