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Allegations Unveiled: Lawsuit Accuses Abercrombie & Fitch of Facilitating Ex-CEO’s Sexual Exploitation of Men

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"Explosive Allegations Against Abercrombie & Fitch: Lawsuit Claims Complicity in Ex-CEO's Decade-Long Sex Trafficking Scheme"

A class-action lawsuit has been filed by dozens of men, leveling shocking allegations against Abercrombie & Fitch, accusing the fashion giant of being complicit in a decade-long sex trafficking scheme orchestrated by its former CEO, Michael Jeffries. The complaint, filed in federal court in New York, contends that Jeffries exploited his position between 1992 and 2014, using it to prey on young men who believed they were being considered for Abercrombie modeling roles.

According to the lawsuit, Jeffries allegedly ran an extensive sex-trafficking operation, coercing and forcing young men into sexual acts in exchange for money and promises of employment. One aspiring model, as detailed in the complaint, was subjected to sexual assault at least seven times during multiple Abercrombie & Fitch casting events in New York, France, and London. The model was allegedly led to believe that these acts were necessary steps to become an Abercrombie model.

The lawsuit suggests that the number of victims could exceed 100, and more individuals are expected to come forward. Brittany Henderson, an attorney representing some of the plaintiffs, emphasized that sexual exploitation is not limited by gender, highlighting the need to extend the #MeToo movement into a broader campaign against exploitation, starting with Abercrombie & Fitch.

Abercrombie & Fitch declined to comment on the pending litigation. The plaintiffs are seeking a trial by jury, along with punitive and compensatory damages. Michael Jeffries, through his attorney Brian Bieber, stated that he will not comment in the press and that the courtroom is the appropriate venue for addressing the matter.

The lawsuit also implicates Jeffries' long-time partner, Matthew Smith, alleging that he sexually assaulted men alongside Jeffries. Despite not holding an official position at the company, Smith allegedly had access to non-public information and wielded managerial authority. The explosive nature of these allegations adds another layer of complexity to the unfolding legal proceedings.

"Legal Battle Unfurls: Bieber States Smith Lacks Legal Representation Amid Abercrombie & Fitch Lawsuit"

In the unfolding legal drama surrounding the Abercrombie & Fitch scandal, attorney Brian Bieber has confirmed that Matthew Smith, a key figure implicated in the lawsuit alongside former CEO Michael Jeffries, currently lacks legal representation. Despite efforts, CNN has been unable to ascertain whether Smith has engaged the services of a lawyer.

The expansive 21-count lawsuit levels nine charges against Abercrombie & Fitch, alleging the company's complicity in Jeffries' and Smith's abuse. The lawsuit contends that the fashion giant was cognizant of the abuse and deliberately turned a blind eye to the considerable sums of money Jeffries withdrew from corporate-affiliated accounts to silence victims. The complaint bluntly asserts that Abercrombie & Fitch needed a corporation aware of Jeffries' illegal activities yet indifferent, making it liable for the physical and emotional distress suffered by the plaintiffs due to the alleged assaults.

The lawsuit delves into the financial dynamics, asserting that Abercrombie & Fitch reaped financial benefits from the sex-trafficking venture. By employing male models to bolster their brand image, the company allegedly not only perpetuated a toxic environment but also allowed Jeffries to rebrand the company, transforming it into a billion-dollar industry leader.

This legal battle emerges less than a month after the BBC exposed allegations from eight men who claimed Jeffries and Smith exploited them for sex. The men detailed recruitment through a middleman network and reported receiving payments of $500 to $1,000 for each referral. Abercrombie & Fitch responded to the BBC report by launching an internal investigation, stating that the current leadership team and board were unaware of Jeffries' alleged misconduct. The company asserted a commitment to a values-driven organization with zero tolerance for abuse, harassment, or discrimination.

As the legal proceedings intensify, this case continues to cast a harsh light on the alleged misconduct within Abercrombie & Fitch and its repercussions on both the individuals involved and the company's corporate culture. CNN's Parija Kavilanz has contributed to this report.

"In the Wake of Allegations: Abercrombie & Fitch Scandal Navigates Legal Turbulence"

As the legal storm surrounding Abercrombie & Fitch unfolds, the absence of legal representation for Matthew Smith, a central figure in the scandal, adds another layer of complexity to the burgeoning lawsuit. Attorney Brian Bieber has confirmed Smith's lack of legal counsel, leaving the path ahead uncertain.

The expansive 21-count lawsuit, featuring nine charges against Abercrombie & Fitch, alleges the company's complicity in a decade-long sex trafficking scheme orchestrated by its former CEO, Michael Jeffries. The complaint paints a grim picture, asserting that the fashion giant was not only aware of the abuse but turned a blind eye to financial transactions meant to silence victims.

Beyond legal intricacies, the lawsuit delves into the financial dynamics, contending that Abercrombie & Fitch reaped benefits from the sex-trafficking venture. The case comes on the heels of allegations from eight men, detailed in a BBC report, and prompted the company to launch an internal investigation, pledging a values-driven organization with zero tolerance for abuse.

As the legal battle intensifies, the Abercrombie & Fitch scandal underscores the profound impact of alleged misconduct on both the individuals involved and the corporate culture. The outcome of this legal turmoil will undoubtedly shape the narrative surrounding the company and its commitment to accountability and cultural transformation. The path forward remains uncertain, and the resolution of this case will likely have lasting implications for Abercrombie & Fitch and the broader conversation around corporate responsibility and workplace culture.

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