Tyra Banks America’s Next Top Model Judge Sued for Sexual Harassment

In Fashion Law by FASHIONENTLAW™

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Sexual harassment is rampant in the fashion industry. We saw on UDUAK LAW Firm blog a really sad case of it with Indian Fashion designer Jon Anand. He ended up with sexual criminal prosecution and convictions. Revisit my analysis of sexual harassment law and that case here.  We have a new case alleging sexual harassment against Nole Marin, a judge on Tyra Banks America’s Next Top Model. Let me lead with an excerpt from New York Daily News Article on Marin and then add some few legal points to my explanation in the link above.

“Noted stylist and former America’s Next Top Model judge Nole Marin is being sued for making unwelcome sexual advances on an aspiring male model. In a lawsuit filed with the Manhattan Supreme Court Monday, Nicholas Hamman-Howe alleges that Marin offered to make him a star in exchange for sex.The two first met in 2007, when Marin told Hamman-Howe that he could make a lot of money modeling underwear or swimwear because of his physique. Hamman-Howe says in the suit that he’d never considered modeling as a career, but nevertheless agreed to a test shoot at Marin’s apartment in Oct. 2007.

When he got there, Marin asked him to strip down to his underwear and then tried to fondle him. Hamman-Howe says he pushed Marin away and ran out of the apartment, but not before Marin told him that modeling is “a very sexual industry” that is “all about who you know and what they’ll do for you.”

Hamman-Howe must not have been fooled enough the first time around, because when Marin started texting him in March of this year promising $120,000 for an Armani Exchange campaign, he eventually agreed to go back to Marin’s apartment. Hamman-Howe’s suit claims that instead of reps from the brand, he was once again alone with the stylist, who reached into his underwear.

Hamman-Howe left again, and says for weeks afterward he received text messages from Marin that promised stardom in return for sex.” ~ Styeite via New York Daily News

UDUAK LAW FIRM LEGAL TAKE
I’ll be even more explicit on what is NOT accepted conducted in general at the workplace. If you are an employer or manager and you make unwelcome sexual advances to your employees/subordinates or demand they give you sexual favors in exchange for job promotions, benefits, a spot on ANTM etc. THAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

Sex jokes at work IS NOT funny. Sex photos at work, DON’T DO IT. There are other scenarios but I will save it for when the news calls for delving into that area.

EMPLOYER ACTION
Employers, you should be concerned about legal liability in general as a result of potential sexual harassment allegations. To prevent this, have a Sexual Harassment Policy in place and be sure to take immediate action to investigate, monitor and discipline an employee (including firing) where sexual harassment is concerned.

Seek the help of an attorney in helping to draft and advice on a sexual harassment policy for your workplace.

Cheers,
Uduak

Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her firm’s fashion and entertainment law practice areas. Ms. Uduak has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts. She has also handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients including network television and licensing deals. Her work and contributions to the creative industry has been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA: ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also the author of Fashionentlaw™ and also has over two decades combined hands on industry experience in the creative industry which includes modeling, retail, fashion production, public relations, digital media, journalism and publishing. For further inquiries or if you are seeking legal representation, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). You may also follow her on twitter at @uduaklaw

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