After being accused of sexual misconduct and one instance of sexual assault, Alexander Wang acknowledged the allegations and vowed to do better, but did not apologize.
Initially describing the allegations as “baseless and grotesquely false accusations” in late December, the New York-based designer has had a change of heart.
Wang came under fire after the site Diet Prada picked up on a post by S-t Model Management, which described the designer “as an alleged sexual predator.”
In the last few months, Wang has faced a blizzard of media coverage after being accused of sexual misconduct by 11 men. The BBC News, The New York Times, The Daily Mail, New York magazine and WWD, as well as other media outlets, have covered the accusations. With a few exceptions, most of the designer’s accusers were not initially identified.
Reached for comment Tuesday, The Bloom Firm’s Lisa Bloom, who was representing 11 individuals who had accused Wang of various sexual misconduct, said, “We have met with Alexander Wang and his team. My clients had the opportunity to speak their truth to him and expressed their pain and hurt. We acknowledge Mr. Wang’s apology and we are moving forward. We have no further comment on this matter.”
Asked if there had been a monetary settlement, neither Bloom nor her assistant responded.
Someone familiar with the allegations indicated that the accusers could be compensated in the six-figure or seven-figure range. The person also said that acknowledging and recognizing the accusers’ claims was a win in some form. In addition, the fact that the controversy has sparked a conversation in the LGBTQ community about the need for a safe space is another important takeaway from the situation, the source said.
Wang’s accusers are believed to have signed non-disclosure agreements. One of the 11 accusers declined to comment.
Wang posted his response to the situation on Instagram. He acknowledged that a number of individuals have come forward to raise claims against him regarding his “past personal behavior.” The designer said he supported their right to come forward and has “listened carefully to what they had to say.”
That was a turnaround compared to his post in late December, when he wrote that he “never engaged in the atrocious behavior described” and never would have conducted himself in the manner that was alleged.
In an interview with WWD last month, one source, who requested anonymity, said Wang’s misconduct dated to before 2010. Groping, kissing, sexual bullying, pants and underwear being pulled down in a nightclub, drugging and unwanted sexual acts such as fellatio were among the allegations. The source alleged that Wang’s behavior was widely known in the fashion industry and described it as “an unspoken piece of common knowledge.”
Wang wrote of his accuser in his post Tuesday, “It was not easy for them to share their stories, and I regret acting in a way that caused them pain. While we disagree on some of the details of these personal interactions, I will set a better example and use my visibility and influence to encourage others to recognize harmful behaviors. Life is about learning and growth, and now that I know better, I will do better.”
Asked if Wang or a member on his team was available for further comment, a Hiltzik Strategies spokeswoman for his company declined.