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The clothing brand Abercrombie & Fitch has reportedly brought on an independent law firm to investigate alleged sex crimes committed by former CEO Mike Jeffries.
Revelations of illicit sex parties and other events put on by Jeffries and his partner Matthew Smith apparently came out in a BBC documentary that aired throughout the U.K. on Monday, according to the Daily Mail.
Twelve men apparently came forward with details in the documentary, with six of them claiming that they were lied to about the specifics of the parties they were invited to attend. Others said they feared that their careers could be ruined if they did not take part in the acts that took place at the parties.
Jeffries reigned over the clothing brand from the 1990s to 2014, converting the brand into one of the trendiest in the U.S., along with Hollister and Aeropostale. The brand specifically targeted teen boys and girls, sporting the all-American prep look with male models and in-your-face billboards.
Though Jeffries was one of the highest-paid CEOs in the U.S., he was not without controversy. During the time he was at the head of Abercrombie & Fitch, he reportedly faced claims of discrimination against staff and received complaints about how much influence his partner Smith had over the company, per the BBC.
Jeffries' time with the company eventually came to an end in 2014, with the brand experiencing a significant decline in sales. However, he managed to get out with a retirement package valued at around $25 million.
The BBC has now revealed disturbing allegations that Jeffries took advantage of young men whom he invited to sex events he hosted in New York, London, Venice, Marrakesh, and Paris. The investigation lasted two years, and 12 men came forward claiming that Jeffries and Smith organized various events involving sex acts between 2009 and 2015.
There were eight men who admitted that they attended such events, adding that they were recruited by a mysterious middleman who had a missing nose that was covered with a snakeskin patch, according to the BBC.
This middleman was eventually identified as James Jacobson. He claimed that he wore the snakeskin patch after a botched surgery.
However, Jacobson has denied doing anything wrong throughout the years he acted as the middleman between models and Jeffries. One alleged victim, David Bradberry, then 23, said that he was introduced to Jacobson by an agent who said he was the gatekeeper to the upper brass of Abercrombie & Fitch.
The Daily Mail reported that Bradberry said, "Jim [Jacobson] made it clear to me that unless I let him perform oral sex on me, that I would not be meeting with Abercrombie & Fitch or Mike Jeffries."
"I was paralyzed. It was like he was selling fame," Bradberry added. "And the price was compliance."
"I thought he was just a creepy old dude that I wouldn't have to see again."
It appears Bradberry was not the only individual who experienced this type of treatment.
Bradberry, like several other men, was invited to lavish events involving Jeffries and Smith taking part in sexual acts. The Daily Mail reported that the CEO and his partner even "direct[ed]" other men to have sex with each other. Following these incidents, the men were provided thousands of dollars.
Abercrombie & Fitch still considers Jeffries to be its modern-day founder, and a spokesman reportedly told the BBC that the company was "appalled and disgusted" by the alleged behavior. The company on to say that it has "zero tolerance for abuse, harassment or discrimination of any kind."
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