Alexander Wang Says He apos;supports apos; Sexual Assault Accusers
Alexander Wang released a new statement acknowledging the sexual assault allegations against him and promising to 'do better' on Monday
Alexander Wang has released a new statement acknowledging the sexual assault allegations against him and promising to 'do better'.
The 37-year-old fashion designer has maintained that he never touched anyone inappropriately as at least 11 people came forward with allegations against him since late December.
He struck a more apologetic tone in an Instagram post on Monday, where he said he supports the accusers' right to come forward but still refused to admit wrongdoing.
'A number of individuals have come forward recently to raise claims against me regarding my past personal behavior,' Wang wrote.
'I support their right to come forward, and I've listened carefully to what they had to say. 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.'
Wang struck an apologetic tone in his statement posted to Instagram (pictured), where he said he supports the accusers' right to come forward but still refused to admit wrongdoing
Wang has yet to be faced with any lawsuits linked to the allegations, but last month high-profile attorney Lisa Bloom announced that she is representing 11 accusers.
The allegations began pouring out late last year after model and graphic designer Owen Mooney took to TikTok to share his encounter with Wang in 2017, describing how he 'froze' when Wang allegedly groped his crotch during a concert in New York City.
Mooney's account was among more than a dozen included in Instagram and Twitter posts by industry watchdog Sh*t Model Management (SMM), the majority of which were shared through screenshots of allegations sent in by anonymous users.
Some of the accusers, which included transgender men and women and cisgender men, told stories resembling Mooney's. Others claimed that Wang drugged their drinks with MDMA without their knowledge.
Wang released a statement denying the 'grotesquely false' claims in January - but that didn't stop others from coming forward.
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Last month 21-year-old fashion design student Keaton Bullen alleged that he was sexually assaulted by Wang at the Fishbowl club in Midtown Manhattan on August 24, 2019.
Bullen, who says he was with a friend, claimed he and Wang first talked about their alma mater, Parsons School of Design, before Wang invited them to his table.
He alleges that Wang offered them vodka before getting them to the dance floor and unzipping his pants.
'All of a sudden he unzipped my trousers, put his hands in my pants and started grabbing my penis in front of a bunch of people,' Bullen told the BBC.
'I completely froze. He then said: "I want to take you home with me,"' Bullen alleged.
Attorney Lisa Bloom (pictured) said she is representing 11 men with allegations against Wang
Numerous claims have been made after model and graphic designer Owen Mooney (pictured) took to TikTok to share his encounter with Wang in 2017, describing how he 'froze' when Wang allegedly groped his crotch during a concert in New York City
Bullen said he was taken aback and 'removed myself from the situation as fast as possible'.
Wang's lawyer, Paul Tweed, told BBC that he is waiting for surveillance footage from the club, which he said 'his client believes will totally disprove this allegation'.
Another allegation was made by DJ Gia Garrison, 24, who claimed that she met Wang in the VIP area of the club Slake in Manhattan in February 2017.
She told BBC that she was 'dancing near him when he reached out his hand, grabbed my bikini bottoms and dragged it downward in front of everyone'.
'As a trans woman with discomfort about certain parts of myself that I've since grown to love, I don't want someone to expose my entire body like that,' she said.
Wang's lawyer also denied Garrison's allegation and said his client had 'never grabbed any woman' in this way.
Another allegation was made by DJ Gia Garrison (pictured), 24, who claimed that she met Wang at Slake in Manhattan in February 2017. She claimed she was 'dancing near him when he reached out his hand, grabbed my bikini bottoms and dragged it downward'
The designer addressed the allegations in a memo to staff in January that was viewed by DailyMail.com.
'I wanted to take the time to write to you all and thank each and every one of you who have been standing by me and the brand after the difficult past few days,' Wang wrote.
'You are my community, my priority and I am fully aware that the recent news has also affected you. I hope this note that I am sending before we post on company socials later today, helps to answer some of your questions and alleviate some concerns.'
Wang said that he remains 'committed' to his employees and his brand 'and will do everything in my power to guide us through this process with the utmost transparency'.
'Firstly, I'd like to take the opportunity to connect directly with the people who have helped me grow this brand into what it is today and address the recent false, fabricated and mostly anonymous accusations against me.
'While I have always been active in my social life, frequently attending various industry gatherings, parties and concerts where drugs and alcohol were present- but contrary to what has been said, I have never taken advantage of others in a sexual manner or forced anything on anyone without consent.
'I also have never abused my status or fame for my own benefit. These baseless allegations were started on social media by sites which repeatedly disregarded the value and importance of evidence or fact checking,' Wang said.
He then wrote that he is making it his 'priority to prove these accusations are untrue and are fueled by solely opportunistic motives'.
'It is important for people to speak up about and be heard but there is a need to ensure accusations are credible, so that we don't harm these important causes. Our team is doing everything in its power to investigate these claims and we promise to remain honest and transparent throughout that process.
'We are fortunate to have received an overwhelming amount of support over the last few days and are thankful to our staff, clients and industry peers for standing by our side at this time,' he concluded.
In addition to Wang's memo to staff, his representatives also released text messages to DailyMail.com that showed exchanges between Wang and one of his accusers.
The text message exchange involved Nick, an accuser who also spoke to DailyMail.com. He claimed that Wang performed sex acts on him while he was in a blacked out state in a club.
An accuser by the name of Nick (pictured) came forward in December with allegations against Wang
Last month, Wang released a memo to staff denying the allegations. His representatives also released text messages to DailyMail.com that showed exchanges between Wang and Nick
Other exchanges sent to DailyMail.com from Wang's team includes one from May and June 2020. In May, the men discuss Nick moving out of New York City after losing his job amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the June exchange, Wang told Nick that he was in Connecticut
The first few texts are dated in late 2019, after the alleged incidents are said to have taken place, and show Nick telling Wang that he's in Brooklyn with friends.
'I'm out in Brooklyn at a friends - you??' Nick asks. Wang responds: 'Just left a shoot in BK. Heading back into city.'
On November 24, 2019, Nick tells Wang: 'Damn sorry I'm missing you again.'
Wang doesn't appear to have responded to that message, but a little over a week later Nick writes: 'Hey how's it going? Are you have a party next week with Adidas?'
It doesn't appear that Wang responded to that message either. On January 18, 2020, Nick wrote: 'Alexxx are you out??' Wang responded: 'Nope at home. You?'
'Want to come to China town?' Nick asks.
The exchange appears to pick back up on January 31, 2020, with Nick texting Wang about hanging out.
'Down to smoke and chill sometime,' Nick writes, to which Wang responds: 'Sat?'
'Yea want to keep it chill?' Nick asks.
Wang responds: 'As opposed to….?'
'Going to a club which we usually do,' Nick says. Wang replies: 'Oh Hahahaha yea. Gonna prob stay in tonight.'
Other exchanges sent to DailyMail.com from Wang's team includes one from May and June 2020. In May, the men discuss Nick moving out of New York City after losing his job amid the coronavirus pandemic. 'Would be nice to club again before I head out lol,' Nick tells Wang.
In the June exchange, Wang told Nick that he was in Connecticut after getting a place there for the summer.
Bloom, who is representing Nick, told DailyMail.com in a statement last month: 'The idea that a friendly text exchange between a sexual assault accuser and the accused after the alleged assault negates the accuser's credibility is false, and based on an outdated understanding of sexual assault.
'In virtually every case, a victim of someone they know, and especially a celebrity they admire and trust, will continue the relationship for a period of time, due to the psychological mechanisms of denial and shame.
'Put simply, it's hard to get your mind around the idea that someone you admire took advantage of you,' Bloom said, noting: 'It takes the passage of time and some maturity for a victim to look back and say, wait a minute, that wasn't right.'
In December, Nick, 25, explained to DailyMail.com how he met Wang at a club in Brooklyn in June of 2019.
While Nick said he doesn't believe his drink was spiked with MDMA as other accusers have claimed, he explained he was drinking heavily around Wang, so much so that he blacked out - the only time he's ever done so
Wang is known for his bubbly, carefree persona and counts supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid (right), Kendall Jenner, actress Zoe Kravitz (left) and singer Dua Lipa among his inner circle
He claimed one night in August of that year when he hung out with Wang, the designer was 'aggressive' and performed sex acts on him while he was in a blacked out state, once in a packed club and later that night in an Uber.
The young man told DailyMail.com: 'This is not something I wanted or something that I was going after and it should never have happened, in that way especially.
'I'm really happy that someone did speak out about it because it made me realize my own situation was a lot different than what I had thought.
'I think there was a lot of manipulation and I just kind of feel played. The whole #MeToo movement has been more around women and people don't realize this can also happen to men, I being one of them. I think it's a big wake up call to gay men.'
Nick, who was living in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn at the time, first met Wang at 3 Dollar Bill - a gay bar in East Williamsburg. He had gone to the venue with a friend when he ran into Wang.
Nick said: 'I kind of noticed him, but I didn't know it was him, but he kept kind of coming up to me and my friend and dancing with us.
'Later in the night, he was getting a little bit more aggressive, like pulling me, but in the club that's just kind of normal. So I didn't really think that much of it.'
They exchanged contact details and Nick explained he thought Wang seemed 'nice and normal', fahl.uk but said 'once we started hanging out with his friends, it was a lot different, it was a lot more aggressive.'
While Nick said he doesn't believe his drink was spiked with MDMA as other accusers have claimed, he explained he was drinking heavily around Wang, so much so that he blacked out - the only time he's ever done so.
He said: 'Each time I was blacked out, I would come to consciousness, and he was doing something to me.'
Nick added: 'I am not a heavy drinker in general, but for me to black out I think is very excessive.
'When we would go out we would be at a table, so as soon as a drink would be finished a new one would already be there. It was honestly hard to keep track and then we'd be doing shots.'
It was this type of heavy drinking that would occur the next time Nick met up with Wang at a bar named Lola in the East Village on August 24, 2019 with Wang's circle of friends.
DailyMail.com has seen texts and Instagram direct messages between Wang and Nick, with the designer encouraging Nick to meet him at various clubs.
In an exchange from August 24, 2019, Nick replies to Wang, asking where he's at.
Wang gives Nick the address, saying 'it's fun'. When Nick agrees to come, Wang texts back: 'Take a few shots and catch up with me.'
When he arrived at the venue, Wang had a private table. Nick explained people recognized Wang and tried to take pictures or join their table, adding he was slightly uncomfortable being in a situation where people were always looking their way.
Nick described a night of flowing drinks before he blacked out, and when he came to Wang was allegedly giving him a hand job while they were dancing.
He said: 'I was shocked. I brushed him off, and he just laughed it off.'
Nick added: 'I'm like next to all of his friends which were all women… so I'm kind of shocked that it was normal for them.'
The group club hopped that night, and Nick said he never really knew where he was after the initial bar.
He explained: 'I really only go out in Brooklyn, so I didn't know the areas that we were going out in the Lower East Side, because some were new to me.
'I was really, really drunk. So once I realized I was not able to make it home alone because I was drinking too much, I asked Alex where are we? What area? and he just wouldn't tell me.'
It was after the third club that night when Nick said he became alert in an Uber and found Wang performing a sex act on him.
He said: 'Again, I was blacked out and woke up to him giving me oral in the car. This time I was telling him, we are in a car! His friends are also in the car, so that's why it was so odd.'
DailyMail.com has seen texts and Instagram direct messages between Wang and Nick, with the designer encouraging him to meet him out at various clubs
But Nick said he believes this is normal behavior for Wang, who didn't seem phased by his shock or upset when he was told to stop.
'Each time he's never really surprised. Even if I become alert and jump, realizing what's happening he just acts like it's normal,' Nick said.
Due to his intoxicated state, Nick ended up crashing at Wang's home, going straight to bed and leaving in the morning.
He explained: 'I thought it was more a friendly vibe. I never wanted a romantic thing or anything like that. I never wanted anything sexual with him.
'For me, I was thinking he's really into me, with him being aggressive. I didn't realize until reading other people's experiences, it was something different on his side.'
The next time Nick saw Wang in fall of 2019, he describes a similar night to his previous encounters, flowing drinks and partying.
He said: 'We drank a lot again, but he wasn't doing anything as crazy, it was more or less the usual.'
The final time Nick said he saw Wang, was this June. He went over to his apartment in downtown Manhattan where they hung out, talked and watched TV.
While Nick said Wang tried to get cuddly with him and make a move, he brushed him off for the final time.
He said: 'It wasn't as aggressive as the other nights, but I also brushed it off, I was like all right, knock it off.
'I think he was becoming aware of that. I think he probably realized I didn't want anything sexual, so there wasn't really any point to hang out.'
Beyond the two instances when Nick was too intoxicated to consent, the two men never had a physical relationship, Nick said.
Various victims have maintained that Wang's behavior had been something of an open secret for months, if not years.
Nick said he's sharing his story because it's been 'eye-opening' for him.
He said: 'I thought what was happening was normal. The thing that's so shocking about this, I felt all of this was normal until I started seeing other people's stories and experiences and it sounded just like mine.
'For gay men, this can be normal and it's tolerated and no one really talks about it.'
Mooney, a model and graphic designer, came forward with his story in a pair of TikTok videos that went viral In the first video (left) Mooney alleged that he'd been 'touched up' by a 'really famous designer' while he and his friends were watching rapper CupcakKe perform at a club three years ago. He didn't provide a name until the second video (right), after commenters guessed that it was Wang
The allegations against Wang went viral, when industry watchdog Sh*t Model Management posted stories from several different accusers on Instagram (pictured)
One alleged victim also claimed Wang had done the same 'Molly water trick on me', while another accused him of drugging two friends in 2014
Wang's representatives have denied Nick's claims telling DailyMail.com: 'The text messages that we have from this "Nick" character to our client tell a very different story than the one reported.'
'Despite claiming that Alex sexually assaulted him twice in one night while he (Nick) was supposedly blacked out drunk, he has repeatedly and consistently reached out to Alex since the alleged incidents to invite him clubbing, asking him to hang out, smoke weed, and chill. Even as recently as last weekend, the guy was texting Alex happy birthday messages.'
Accusations against Wang made news after Mooney's account of his experience went viral and industry watchdog Sh*t Model Management (SMM) began sharing screenshots of allegations sent in by anonymous users.
In two TikTok videos, Mooney alleged that he'd been 'touched up' by a 'really famous designer' while he and his friends were watching rapper CupcakKe perform at a club three years ago.
He didn't provide a name until the second video, after commenters guessed that it was Wang.
'I was by myself at one point and this guy next to me obviously took at advantage of the fact that no one could f**king move,' Mooney said.
'And he just started touching me up. Like, fully up my leg, in my crotch. It made me freeze completely me because I was in so much shock.
'Then I look to my left to see who it was and it was a really famous fashion designer and I just couldn't believe that he was doing that to me.'
He described the incident as 'really f**ked up' and said he had to 'slowly move away' from the designer he branded a 'sexual predator' in his second video.
Another accuser Nick Ward claimed Wang 'grabbed' his crotch at a DJ event in Brooklyn in 2017.
'As he was passing, he swung, squeezed me, and kept walking,' Ward told Insider.
'By the time I realized what happened, I just announced to my friend: 'that guy just grabbed my d**k' and they're all like, 'that was Alexander Wang.
Ward first detailed the incident in a Twitter thread on September 11, 2017, which was shared on Instagram by the fashion account Diet Prada, which boasts more than 2.3 million followers.
One of the unnamed accusers who spoke to SMM claimed their friend, who is a trans man, had been riding in a limo with Wang after a party 'a while ago' when the designer offered him water and made sure he drank it all.
'A few moments after, they noticed they were rolling and had been giving molly water,' the anonymous person claimed.
'This was a regular occurrence because a year after being told this story, I also heard other people confirm that they also got drugged on the way to any after party.'
Another alleged victim also claimed Wang had done the same 'Molly water trick on me', while a third accused him of drugging two friends in 2014.
Diet Prada asserted that allegations against Wang have been circulating for months if not years.
[ Alexander Wang slams sexual assault claims]
[ Fashion designer Alexander Wang accused of sexual assault - BBC News]