A class action lawsuit has been filed against American fashion brand Abercrombie & Fitch, following an investigation by BBC into alleged sexual misconduct.
The lawsuit, filed under the New York Adult Survivors Act by former Abercrombie model David Bradberry, claims that Abercrombie & Fitch financially supported ex-CEO Mike Jeffries’s alleged sex-trafficking operation.
The lawsuit also claims Jeffries, and his partner Matthew Smith exploited, coerced, and abused young adult men for sex events.
Alleges That Abercrombie & Fitch Financially Supported Misconduct
According to court documents, Abercrombie & Fitch allegedly gave Jeffries “unfettered access” to resources, such as a jet, transportation, and cash, which allowed Jeffries to find “new victims at an alarming rate”.
“Abercrombie cared about profiting and showed absolute loyalty to Jeffries, including a willingness to spend copious amounts of money on extravagant drug and sex parties, ignoring multiple red flags of criminality in Jeffries’s corporate account activity,” the court documents state, as reported by Fashionista.
They continued, “With Abercrombie’s complicity, Jeffries was free to sexually abuse dozens of men, paying a tremendous amount of cash in hush money, without the fear of detection by law enforcement.”
Video Showing Jeffries Sniffing Cocaine Of Man’s Penis
The documents also disclose the existence of a video showing Jeffries “sniffing what was believed to be cocaine off a man’s penis,” This video was circulated internally within the company.
“While Abercrombie tried to prevent the video from being more widely disseminated, the company did nothing to discourage the behaviour captured in the video and in fact continued to financially reward Jeffries.”
Brad Edwards, a lawyer representing some of Jeffries’s alleged victims told BBC, “Because of this lawsuit and the brave men that have come forward, Abercrombie will have to answer for its many unacceptable actions and inactions that have destroyed the lives of dozens of young men.”
BBC Investigation Uncovered ‘Highly Organised Network’
This follows a report by BBC which found that between 2009 and 2015, “a highly organised network” utilised a middleman to find these men for these sex events, after which, the men were given envelopes filled with cash.
Over the course of a two-year investigation, the BBC spoke to 12 men who either attended or organised the events.
The BBC also used documents, including emails, flight tickets, and travel itineraries to back up the men’s allegations.
In a statement at the time, Abercrombie & Fitch said they are “appalled and disgusted” by the allegations, explaining they have “zero tolerance for abuse, harassment or discrimination of any kind.”
Jeffries stepped down as CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch in 2014.