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Business & Economy

Former models sue Abercrombie & Fitch and former CEO Mike Jeffries alleging sexual abuse

The Abercrombie & Fitch sign.
Abercrombie & Fitch's former CEO is facing accusations he sexually exploited young men.

A former Abercrombie & Fitch model is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the fashion retailer and former CEO Mike Jeffries alleging the company enabled its former executive to run a sex-trafficking ring by looking the other way.

Actor and former Abercrombie and Fitch model David Bradberry filed the lawsuit as an individual and on behalf of others who may have been impacted in the U.S. District Court for Southern New York City Friday. The lawsuit claims Jeffries assaulted him and numerous other men in New York and internationally in London and France.

The defendants in the case include Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries, the Jeffries' Family Office and Jeffries' partner Matthew Smith.

The 128-page lawsuit details the alleged abuse by Jeffries as the company profited from Jeffries' leadership. The lawsuit follows a BBC report leveling these same allegations earlier this month.

The lawsuit alleges the New Albany-based clothing company enabled Jeffries to recruit and sexually assault and traffick younger men by luring them to become the next Abercrombie model. The lawsuit estimates the number of victims to be in the hundreds.

Jeffries was integral to the success of Abercrombie, but he left in 2014 as the once popular teen clothing brand began to struggle.

George Shillcock is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. He joined the WOSU newsroom in April 2023 following three years as a reporter in Iowa with the USA Today Network.