Reacher’ Star Alan Ritchson Slams Modeling Industry as ‘Legalized Sex Trafficking’

Alan Ritchson began his career as a model, which he says left him with scars due to “horrible environments”.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the “Reacher” star spoke about his experiences working in an environment where, according to him, “sexual abuse is the goal” and how that has affected his mental health.

There are few redeeming features of working in the modeling industry. “Let’s face it, this is like legalized sex trafficking,” Ritchson said, a model for Abercrombie & Fitch as well as other catalog projects. “The industry is unregulated and it’s widely known that when you are hired for a job you are handed over to a photographer who will traffick you.” “It’s impossible to count the number of situations and times I was placed in horrifying environments, where sexual abuse was the aim, and the paycheck you desperately needed for your survival was the carrot. It was often.”

The “Blue Mountain State’ alumnus said that he often finds himself in uncomfortable situations, but he admitted that it is even worse for women.

He said, “You dance around the terrible question of how to keep your job, not offend the photographer, agent, or person who set up this event and avoid being raped.” “I can completely understand women who have to deal with power struggles in the workplace.” “Although it’s still unfair to me, if I had to I could physically force my way out of the room.’ “The majority of women do not have this option, imagine the terror.”

Ritchson quit modeling abruptly after he was allegedly sexually abused by a “very well-known photographer.” He never returned.

“I was told to go into a hotel and do a nude shoot with the promise of a lucrative campaign for a magazine or clothing line if I completed the shoot.” He claimed that he was sexually assaulted. “I drove straight to the L.A. agency where I worked. I stormed into the office and shouted, “F— you!” for sending me to that place. You knew it was going to happen and you still did it. There was a coy grin on the face of this agent, knowing that he was caught. He said, ‘It is OK.’ Calm down, it’s not a big issue. I won’t take you back. I know that he is a bit aggressive.

He continued: “I said ‘No’. “F— you! Never call me again. It was my last photo shoot and I quit the industry. These pictures were never published or seen. It was over. I swore off acting and, thank God, it found me at the same time. I was able to make a career switch, but there were some scars.”

Ritchson, who had become a successful actor years later, claimed to have been in a similar position while seated next to Mario Testino, a well-known photographer in the industry, at the Atelier Versace runway show during Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture, in January 2014.

Ritchson claimed that “he wouldn’t stay away from me.” “The whole time we sat at dinner, he kept trying to rub his crotch underneath the table.” I said, “Get your hands away from me, dude.” ‘I used to live with people who were like you, where you felt like you could have anyone.” “I don’t object to you, I’m past that, dude, but he enjoyed it.”

He continued, “I’m trying to enjoy conversations with the playmakers in the industry, and the whole time, he wouldn’t leave me alone. I ended up leaving early, but he called my hotel room later that night and begged me to come over. He said, ‘I’ve never googled someone right after meeting them. What have you done to me? My car is out front.’ Then he said he loved manly men ‘because they kick harder.’ He was disappointed that I wouldn’t come to his place.”

Ritchson said that Testino offered him the cover of Vogue in exchange for sleeping with him on that particular night.

“I said, ‘I couldn’t care less about the Vogue cover.’ “I don’t care about any opportunity that you try to put in front of my face,” he said.

Testino didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ritchson claimed that his past had eventually led him into a dark place and caused him to try suicide in 2019. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

“I asked myself: ‘OK, what am I doing if I choose to live here? We all make that decision, but some more than others. Why am I here? I asked myself. As someone who believes in a creator and that we are created creatures, my purpose was to serve others and make the world better. That’s what life is about.”