Abercrombie & Fitch Is Facing A Masturbation Lawsuit


Before we could even finish jamming to their Call Me Maybe video dub, Abercrombie & Fitch disappointed us for what has to be, like, the 18th time since they’ve been in existence (and discriminating all over the place).  A&F model Benjamine Bower is suing his former employee for sending him on a photoshoot with a modeling agency that made him masturbate in front of the camera. Benjamin joins a host of others who have sued Abercrombie & Fitch over the years; he wants $1 million for the abuse suffered.

According to TMZ Benjamine was referred by A&F to modeling agent Brian Hilburn. And that’s when things got awkward:

The suit claims during the June 17, 2011 shoot, Hilburn convinced Benjamine that he needed to display a relaxed look for his modeling portfolio, and the best way of achieving that look was to masturbate in front of the camera, so the photog could capture his expression immediately after orgasm. And for good measure, Hilburn allegedly told him the drill was to do the whole thing in the buff.

Benjamine says he was a trooper and took matters into his own hands during the shoot. But Ben says after he masturbated, Hilburn exposed himself and commented on the relative size of their penises.


After the incident, Benjamine decided that the purpose of the photo shoot must have been for the sole pleasure of Hilburn, rather than for the advancement of his career. He is suing A&F and Brian Hilburn for $1 million.

Brian Hilburn would not comment but I found his twit pic (below) and a link to AIG, the modeling company he runs.


And here’s Benjamine, in all his A&F’in glory

How SHOCKED are you guys that A&F is caught up in some shady ish, again? What do you make of Ben’s story? I’ll admit, I thought it sounded a bit funny at first (we don’t often think of guys as being forced to masturbate), but then I thought, If Ben were a young woman would it still be funny? Hmmm.


  • fmx

    Good for him for coming forward with a lawsuit. I cringe at how easily these pretty young folks with the world on their shoulders get taken advantage of.

  • Stef

    Um..my question is why did he even masturbate in the first place? lol I don’t know much about the modeling world but if anyone asked me to do that to “relax” myself at a photo shoot I’d think something shady was going on.

    • fmx

      I guess everyone in that industry is highly replaceable, and who knows maybe he didn’t want to loose the job $$ if he didn’t comply.

    • Debho

      True. But he could have filed a complaint just as easily had he not masturbated. There’s probably no proof that he did. Bloody hell, we teach our kids to Just Say No, yet they seem to forget this as soon as they grow up. Male or female, no one should feel pressured to do anything they don’t want to (like this) and they need to stand up for themselves!

  • Nathan

    While I completely agree that this was wrong, what the hell happened to people having morals? Not that this is immoral, but if it’s something that you are not into, then don’t do it. I could never be “pressured” into this. Granted, I don’t want to be a model, but I wouldn’t do this sort of thing if I was promised a career in _______ industry.

  • Ailene

    I didn’t think it was at all funny. It screams exploitation.

  • Ben@pr

    I think innocent Benjamine should’ve known better. Also pretty,naive, male models aren’t the only professionals suffering from same-sex sexual harassment. I hope if it’s true he will prevail in Court.

  • Amarie

    Wow. I find it a problem that he masturbated in the first place AND NOW feels bad about it. Who does that? If any man *or person* tells another person to masturbate in front of them, and you just shrug your shoulders and say okay! Then you knew what you were doing when it happened. I would’ve said hell no and walked right out. But he did it and now feels guilty and wants to pull the whole HE MADE ME DO IT card. If he did ask him, then obviously there were sexual advances in place and he should’ve known it was coming. It made the photographer get the idea that the guy was okay with this so he was naturally gonna try and take it further. Like any other human being that gets to first or second base lol.

  • Aig is a huge firm. This could get even more serious assuming he’s not the only. And sometimes/often… Things like this are not isolated… I smell a scandal.

  • Courtney

    Benjamine should not have done it, but none of us understand what was going on at the time or what was said. AIG is a big firm (as AmandaMarie stated) and probably has a huge influence on young models. Who knows what was said to him (if you don’t do this, you will be fired or it will be my word against yours) before this went down. It’s hard to imagine actually going through with his demands, but we don’t know what the exact situation was. If this turns out to be true, I hope some people get in some serious trouble for it. Just because you have a high-ranked position or are the boss doesn’t mean you can exploit others.

  • fmx

    I’m baffled why some people are so victim judgemental/blaming in this situation.
    This other guy sounds like a total creep and will probably get investigated. I see this no different from somebody like a pervy hockey coach who harasses his players who are trying to get ahead in the world like everybody else. Should would or could, he was obviously vulnerable enough to trust this guy in the first place and felt violated enough to take this to court.

    • Will

      I’m with you on this one.
      It’s easy to blame someone, when you have plenty of time to think in front of a computer and you’re not under stress.
      Something similar happened to me years ago (please don’t ask), and while I regret what happened, sometimes it’s hard to decide what’s to do or not to do depending on your psychological state.
      When you’re under stress and pressure, without money and desperate for a job, you’re weak. And when you’re weak, it’s easy to be taken advantage of (especially if you’re young).
      The only question I have here is why it took so long for Benjamine to tell all of this. I’m sure he must have his own reasons though…

    • Leah

      Totally agree. There is a LOT of victim blaming going on here. It kind of surprises me honestly, I would expect better from PITNB readers :-(

  • Former AIGMODEL

    Its different when your flown across the country for a photo shoot and then when your there asked to do something. I was with AIG models for a couple months before I realized it was nonsense and brain did the same thing to me. He told me in his office that he’s convinced over 100 guys to do it. I’m really happy Ben decided to come out about this and reveal Brian for what he really is. Also, Brian has nothing to do with Abercrombie, he is also a broke loser, so I guess Ben is sueing abercrombie because thats where the money is at.

    • Troy

      Nah, you’re models, not porn stars. If in fact he’s really convinced over 100 guys to do it then there is a more serious endemic issue going on in the industry and the people in it – on both sides of the camera.

  • Sarah

    Not funny at all. That is horrible. I hope he gets the $1000000

  • sals

    that guy is an idiot for actually masturbating…haha…moron.

  • Margaret

    All this victim blaming is disgusting. He’s a young man who was clearly put in a situation where he had no control. This is as bad as telling a victim of rape it’s their fault for what they’re wearing. It takes extreme courage to tell the world that you were sexually abused or violated & Ben should be receiving nothing but support and encouragement.

    • Karen

      I agree.

    • Troy

      I disagree. He was not raped. He made a choice to take matters into his own hand (literally). Choice is not something afforded to victims of rape. Was he manipulated? Probably. Did he make a choice he regrets? Obviously. But don’t forget, it was still a choice.

  • Lexifer

    I am incredibly disappointed with the readers of this blog lately!

    Such hateful vitriol in the comments, it’s disgusting.

  • Dclover

    I agree, what is going in here with blaming the victim?! I assume this is why we rarely hear from make victims. Shannon brings up a valid question…would y’all feel different if the victim was female?

  • Jason

    Modeling is this mans job. If you walk into you job and your boss asked you to masturbate in front of him, you know what that is called? Sexual Harassment. Plain and simple. It’s an abuse of power.

  • Joe

    While what the photographer did was wrong, there are real victims of abuse where the victim had no choice in the matter. The model could have walked out of the room, but made a choice. I hope that he does win the lawsuit though and maybe donate it to child trafficking charities.

  • MOTM

    Too many people assume what they do in such a situation. I remember attending a self-defense seminar where a female cop, very prominent and years of experience, told of how she was almost raped. Even though she knew how to physically and mentally get out of the situation; had it not been for co-workers coming to her aid … well, her story would have been much different. She and her husband designed a different kind of self-defense for women to help aid in such situations where the mind doesn’t react as how we’d like it to or expect it to under such circumstances.

  • Claus

    What he didn’t get a A&F contract? What he is filing a lawsuit a year later? Really? Sure the agent is a creep but would he have filed had he got the contract??? COME ON!!! oh er cum….

  • I blame them both equally. The model could have VERY easily walked out of that door. It’s not like it’s a hostage situation. I blame the photog for being a creepy CREEPY guy. I’m not endorsing the photogs actions by any means, but come on… The model could’ve simply walked away. And yes, I’ve been in a boat similar to that. It’s all about using the voice you’ve got. That I have learned.

    • Troy

      Agree 110%

  • PixiesBassline

    It sounds like he didn’t get majorly upset until the Brian guy exposed himself. And then he realized that he had masturbated for Brian’s pleasure. Uhg.
    This reminds me of an old boss I used to have. He got certain “favors” out of other employees. Thankfully, another employee told me about him, so I was able to watch my back and never end up in a weird situation with him.

  • Donny

    You know the main picture that goes with this story is the post-orgasm shot. And, of course, it’s the best one. Hahahaha!