Fashion stylist and former America's Next Top Model judge Nolé Marin's lawyer has issued a statement calling reports that Marin sexually harassed a younger male model "desperate fiction." And the magazine Marin works for is defending him in Internet comments.
Yesterday, Nicholas Hamman-Howe, a recent business graduate and part-time model, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court alleging that Marin had sexually harassed him, and sexually assaulted him — twice. Marin's lawyer, Jeff Sanders, released a statement denying the allegations. And while Sanders seems a little uncertain of what both the complainant's, and his own client's, names are, he is downright certain that Nicholas Hamman-Howe's lawsuit is baseless:
The complaint is rife with so many false allegations — from the mundane to the sensational, that Mr. Hammam-Howe's [sic] attorneys should be ashamed. Mr. Nole [sic[ is an icon of the fashion industry who will not be intimidated by Mr. Hammam-Howe's [sic] desperate fiction, and will defend these claims vigorously.
Marin, who used to style fashion editorials and celebrity spreads for Elle magazine, and who was a judge on ANTM during cycles 3 and 4, has more recently found employment at Runway magazine, which apparently is not just a fictional publication where Miranda Priestly works in that movie. Someone claiming to represent the magazine took to the comments section of NYMag.com in the wee hours of this morning to defend Marin's reputation:
The magazine — or whoever is using its name — "stands behind the integrity and professionalism" of its stylist. Runway, which is named in a separate suit filed by Hamman-Howe, also says it will defend itself vigorously.
As difficult as it is for female models to talk about the sexual harassment and abuse some of them are subjected to in the industry, it's even rarer for a male model to come forward. Which isn't to say that male models are never subjected to unwanted advances from powerful men within the industry, men whom it could be career suicide to displease. As Isaac Hindin-Miller reported when he spoke to several international male models for New Zealand's Sunday magazine earlier this year, such harassment is more or less tolerated within the industry:
It's not just out-of-work models who are exploited. Zack, a New Zealander modelling full-time in Sydney, says many photographers have ulterior motives when it comes to shooting young guys. "They always try to shoot you naked; they say it'll be good for your career."
[Model Bruce] Raubenheimer has also had photographers acting inappropriately towards him. "There was one in Milan who started shooting me, and then he touched my arse. I said, ‘Listen, that's not my game. That's fine, dude, [as a] one-off, you got your jollies…' Then he did it again and I punched him in the face. I got thrown off the job but, basically, I'm not going to put up with that. I've got so many gay mates and gay friends in the industry who aren't like that, that I'm not going to put myself in a position where I feel uncomfortable for a couple of grand. It's not worth your sanity."
"Young models do things they'll regret," says [model Michael] Whittaker, "because they fear they're replaceable and so are vulnerable to coercion. As you get more experienced and sure of yourself, you accept you're replaceable and [realise] there's no point doing things that harm your reputation in other fields or down the line."
Dirty Work: My Sunday Magazine Feature On The Darker Side Of Male Modelling [IsaacLikes]