Things That Matter

13 People Have Accused Peruvian Photographer Mario Testino of Sexual Assault

In a new investigative piece by The New York Times, 13 male assistants and models have accused Peruvian photographer Mario Testino of sexual assault.

In response to the accusations, which include sexual advances such as groping and masturbation, legal representatives of the famed photographer told The New York Times that the accusers are not credible. They also added that former employees were “shocked by the allegations.”

One of the models that spoke out about working with Testino said nudity is a must on his shoots.

“If you wanted to work with Mario, you needed to do a nude shoot at the Chateau Marmont,” said model Jason Fedele, who spoke to The Times. “All the agents knew that this was the thing to excel or advance your career.”

Testino has worked for Vogue and other high-profile magazines for decades. One of his most recent shoots was with Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez.

In response to the sexual abuse allegations, which include accusations against another Vogue photographer, Bruce Weber, Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief and Condé Nast Artistic Director Anna Wintour said that all publications housed under Condé Nast will no longer work with either photographer for the time being.

“I believe strongly in the value of remorse and forgiveness, but I take the allegations very seriously, and we at Condé Nast have decided to put our working relationship with both photographers on hold for the foreseeable future,” Wintour said in a statement.

They also released a new Code of Conduct for anyone working with or for Condé Nast.

READ: In The Name of #MeToo, Women Talk About Their Sexual Assaults

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Senior Border Patrol Officer Gets To Retire After Allegedly Kidnapping And Sexually Assaulting Another Agent

Things That Matter

Senior Border Patrol Officer Gets To Retire After Allegedly Kidnapping And Sexually Assaulting Another Agent

customsborder / Instagram

On July 10, former senior Border Patrol agent Gus Zamora, 51, was arrested in Tuscon for sexually assaulting a junior agent. Zamora’s wife is Gloria Chavez, one of the agency’s highest-ranked female officers. Three weeks after he was indicted by a Pima County grand jury, the agency took the only action it has thus far: it allowed him to retire from the agency three weeks after being arrested. Customs and Border Protection defended its actions by telling The New York Times, it “holds its employees accountable and expects the entire workforce to adhere to the agency’s standards of conduct.” Zamora attended a pretrial hearing at the Arizona Superior Court in Tucson. He pleaded not guilty.

The victim, identified as R.W. in court documents, told police that she looked up to Zamora as a mentor, given their ten-year age difference and his seniority. Over the years, R.W. had ignored some of his advances, asserting her desire to remain friends. The night of the assault, they met up for dinner and Zamora bought her so many tequila shots, video surveillance shows her falling to her knees as Zamora brought her back to his hotel room where he would later sexually assault her.

Before their dinner, Zamora texted her to ask if she “dressed up” for him, according to The New York Times.

Credit: customsborder / Instagram

According to The New York Times, Zamora bought them five rounds of tequila shots, and at one point, she moved away from him after he placed his hand on her left thigh. The Daily Mail reports that Zamora told investigators that he offered R.W. a ride home, to which she declined, saying she didn’t want to be alone. Zamora alleges that she initiated the sex. However, hotel surveillance footage shows Zamora holding R.W. up. At one point, she fell to her knees, according to police documents obtained by The New York Times. 

Those police documents detail how R.W. said she blacked out, only waking up a few times to find herself on the bed. She told police she didn’t feel like she had the capacity to give consent. The rape kit results have not been made public. 

A few days later, R.W. reported the crime to the police, who then recorded her follow-up call to Zamora.

Credit: customsborder / Instagram

According to The New York Times, the detective on the case recorded a phone call during which R.W. informed Zamora that the sex was non-consensual. The detective wrote, “he told her to not go there and that it wasn’t like that,” that sex “was never on his mind. They had too many shots,” The New York Times reports. Effectively, Zamora tried to call him out and he just deflected the blame onto both of them. 

When Zamora was eventually called in for an interview, a detective told Zamora that R.W. was in no state to offer consent, to which he “said that he knows, but he wasn’t in a state to consent either,” according to The New York Times

Women make up 5 percent of Border Patrol agents.

Credit: customsborder / Instagram

The female agents who do make up the force have voiced their outrage at the agency’s inaction around sexual assault accusations. “There’s not a single woman in the Border Patrol who has either not been sexually assaulted, outright raped or at the very least sexually harassed,” former Border Patrol agent Jenn Budd told The New York Times. Budd’s since become an immigrant rights activist, and urges women to reconsider joining the Border Patrol.

Two days before Zamora allegedly assaulted R.W., Tucson police arrested Border Patrol agent Steven Charles Holmes, 33, for sexually assaulting three women over seven years. 

The agency is already under immense criticism for its high rate of arrest charges brought against Border Patrol agents when compared to other law enforcement agencies.

Credit: @CBP / Twitter

In July 2019, Quartz reported that Border Patrol agents are arrested approximately five times as often as other law enforcement groups. With a budget of over $15 billion and over 60,000 employees, it’s the largest law enforcement agency in the United States. Many critics say the agency is not held to account for its unconstitutional means of coercing migrants to sign removal forms written in English, a language they often cannot understand. 

A Customs Border Patrol spokesperson told El Paso Times that its Office of Professional Responsibility “will review all the facts uncovered to ensure all allegations of misconduct … are thoroughly investigated for appropriate action by the agency.”

READ: US Border Patrol Sent This Man And His Child Back To Mexico And Hours Later They Were Thrown Into Trucks And Abducted

Cardi B Shared Her Story Of Sexual Assault In An Emotional New Interview That You Have To Watch

Entertainment

Cardi B Shared Her Story Of Sexual Assault In An Emotional New Interview That You Have To Watch

Iamcardib / Instagram

Cardi B appeared on the first episode of Untold Stories of Hip Hop, hosted by Angie “The Voice of New York” Martinez on WE TV. The series, debuting on WE TV on Sept. 26, will highlight hip hop heavyweights like Cardi B, Snoop Dogg, Fat Jow, and Queen Latifah and never-before-heard accounts that changed their lives and careers.

The first day of shooting was literally the day after the Grammys, so who better [to interview] than Cardi B?” Martinez told the NY Post. “She had just won that big Grammy for Best Rap Album and it was a huge moment for her. She’s a hustler. She really works hard. I’ve seen people go hard but she goes super hard. Her work ethic is really impressive.” 

Like most interviews with Cardi, the “Press” singer ebbs from her charming humor with The Bronx grit to getting real about her hustling, struggles, and political opinions. In this interview with Martinez, Cardi reveals she was sexually assaulted by a photographer. 

As seen in the promotional clip for Untold Stories of Hip Hop, Cardi B is visibly flustered as she recounts the incident.

Cardi B spoke with legendary radio DJ Angie Martinez about the incident that happened early in her career. She went to a magazine photoshoot where the photographer exposed himself to her. It appeared the photographer was trying to coerce sexual acts in exchange for media coverage.

“I’ll never forget how I went to shoot for this magazine and the photographer, he was trying to get close to me like, ‘Yeah, you want to get in this magazine?’” Cardi said. “Then he pulled his dick out. I was so fucking mad.”

Cardi said she told the owner of the magazine, the person did not care.

“You know what’s so crazy?” Cardi said. “I told the magazine owner and he just looked at me like: ‘So? And?'” 

When Martinez asked if these incidents still happen to her, Cardi essentially said no one would dare these days.

“Oh, hell no, I put you on blast on my Instagram,” Cardi said.

Cardi B has no doubt that sexual assault happens to girls in underprivileged communities every day. 

The 26-year-old believes that girls at high-risk neighborhoods experience assault all the time, but simply put: nobody cares.

“When I see the #MeToo movement – there’s girls from the hood I know that went through the same type of treatment. They make you feel like you got to do a certain type of thing. It happens every day.”

In 2017, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said reports of sexual assault and domestic violence made by Latinx residents had decreased. The reason: they feared the risk of deportation under Trump’s immigration policy.

“Imagine, a young woman, imagine your daughter, your sister, your mother … not reporting a sexual assault, because they are afraid that their family will be torn apart,” Beck told the LA Times.

While the new immigration policy may have exacerbated these fears, they have always been present for the Latinx community. This makes it particularly hard to create an accurate picture of the frequency of sexual assault amongst Latinxs.

Moreover, because of how Black women are stigmatized as “hypersexualized,”according to Now.org, for every 15 black women who are raped, only one reports her assault.

Indigenous women also face disproportionately high levels of violence, according to Indian Law, 1 in 2 American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced sexual violence.

The facts make it clear: women, in general, are disregarded when it comes to sexual assault, but women of color face even more barriers.

Cardi has previously expressed concerns the #MeToo movement is not inclusive.

The “Money” rapper has alluded to sexual harassment on set before. Cardi, who identifies as a feminist, told Cosmpolitan that because she is a stripper her opinions or experiences on more serious matters are often dismissed. While she supports the #MeToo movement (which was founded by Tarana Burke, a Black woman, but was hijacked by Alyssa Milano, a white woman) that women of color are not heard with regard to sexual assault.

“A lot of video vixens have spoke about this and nobody gives a fuck,” she says. “When I was trying to be a vixen, people were like, ‘You want to be on the cover of this magazine?’ Then they pull their dicks out. I bet if one of these women stands up and talks about it, people are going to say, ‘So what? You’re a ho. It don’t matter.’“

Cardi doesn’t accept the dismissals of strippers. While she is richer and more famous than ever, she said she was happier as a stripper. 

 “I don’t want to sound like I’m ungrateful, but it’s exhausting,” she says. “I love my career now, but it’s like my spirit was happier before. When I was dancing, I had so much fun. I felt powerful in the club. I felt free.”

What Cardi’s experiences highlight is how women of color, especially ones who dare to be overtly sexual, are perceived to be deserving recipients of any abuse they receive.