According to a lengthy new report from the New York Times , former Victoria’s Secret Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek has been accused of sexual harassment, bullying and fostering an atmosphere of misogyny.
The paper spoke with over 30 current and former executives, employees and models for the report, which accused Razek of bullying, sexual harassment and making lewd remarks towards a number of models, including Palestinian-Dutch model Bella Hadid, ahead of the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
The 23-year-old was being measured for underwear when Razek, watching from a couch in the same room, allegedly declared: “Forget the panties.”
He supposedly went on to question whether a TV network would let Hadid walk “down the runway with those perfect” breasts, according to the publication, which also reported that at the same fitting, Razek allegedly touched another model inappropriately.
The highly televised annual fashion show was canceled last year amid ongoing controversy about the lack of body diversity on the runway.
Most of the allegations in the Times’ report revolved around Razek, who stepped down from his position in August 2019, months after causing controversy over comments about hiring curvy models for the show.
Model Andi Muise, who had participated in the fashion show for two consecutive years, told the Times that after repeatedly rebuffing Razek’s advances when she was 19, she was not cast in the next year’s show.
Multiple people who spoke to the publication also claimed that Razek would sometimes ask models for their phone numbers during fittings.
Razek denied the allegations, telling the Times in an email: “The accusations in this reporting are categorically untrue, misconstrued or taken out of context,” adding, “I’ve been fortunate to work with countless, world-class models and gifted professionals and take great pride in the mutual respect we have for each other.”