Model Owen Mooney Addresses Alexander Wang Assault Allegations: 'He Needs to Be Held Accountable'
Model Owen Mooney is asking for fellow models and celebrities to stand in solidarity with those who have shared accounts of alleged assault by designer Alexander Wang. Wang has denied all allegations in statements shared with PEOPLE and via his social media channels.
Mooney, a British model who publicly came forward with assault allegations against Wang, shared a lengthy message on Instagram with what he described as a lack of support from the fashion industry and Hollywood. "The silence of the fashion industry and Hollywood in general is quite deafening. In an era of #MeToo and the solidarity victims received from Hollywood, where is the same support for the victims of Wang? This is why so many accusations of his get brushed under the rug, along with accusations of prominent figures in fashion for that matter," Mooney said.
Despite trans model Gia Garrison coming forward to The Guardian with allegations against Wang, along with other anonymous victims opening up to DailyMail.com and Business of Fashion, Mooney was disappointed to see stars subtly standing by the designer. "His celebrity acquaintances are still following him, changing captions of pictures with him, deleting comments. Anything but condemning his actions. This is staying complicit," Mooney said.
"What he's done to some people is evil and he needs to be held accountable. Almost a week later, still more victims are coming forward with stories," he continued. "How many more people have to come forward before people in fashion and Hollywood condemn him."
"I can't help but question if this has something to do with this being about men, queer and trans people? Does the ideology that we are not victims of sexual assault exist?" Mooney asked. "What would the response be if a world renowned fashion designer was drugging and sexually assaulting cis women?"
Mooney concluded: "Well we've seen it happen, with #MeToo. How about #UsToo? Because there is no shame in coming forward and pointing to your assaulter. We need to be taken more seriously, this happens to us too and the response should be equal."
Wang has categorically denied allegations after fashion industry watchdog Instagram accounts, @s—tmodelmgmt and @DietPrada began sharing stories, most anonymous, alleging sexual misconduct by the designer. "Over the last few days, I have been on the receiving end of baseless and grotesquely false accusations. These claims have been wrongfully amplified by social media accounts infamous for posting defamatory material from undisclosed and/or anonymous sources with zero evidence or any fact checking whatsoever," Wang said in a statement shared with PEOPLE.
"Seeing these lies about me being perpetuated as truths has been infuriating," Wang continued. "I have never engaged in the atrocious behavior described and would never conduct myself in the manner that’s been alleged. I intend to get to the bottom of this and hold accountable whoever is responsible for originating these claims and viciously spreading them online."
Mooney first came forward last week in a candid TikTok video describing a past encounter involving Wang, which has since sparked others to share their stories anonymously with The Guardian, DailyMail.com and Business of Fashion. Mooney said he met Wang in a crowded New York City club in 2017 where he was groped by the designer in the genital area.
"I was by myself at one point and this guy next to me obviously took advantage of the fact that no one could f---ing move and he just started like, touching me up. And fully like, up my leg, in my crotch, like it made me freeze completely because I was in such shock. I looked to my left to see who it was and it was this really famous fashion designer. Like, I couldn't believe that he was doing that to me. It made me go into even more shock. It was really f---ed up," Mooney said.
While Mooney didn't name the assailant in his initial video, he did call out the designer by name in a follow-up post on TikTok when fans commented and correctly guessed it was Wang.
"This comment surprised me just because they actually got it right," Mooney said about a commenter who called out Wang. "Turns out Alexander Wang is a massive sexual predator," Mooney concluded, "and there's been a load of other people that he's done this to. So in that case, he needs to be exposed."
The Model Alliance, which works to “promote fair treatment, equal opportunity and sustainable practices in the fashion industry,” announced that it "stands in solidarity with those who have shared accusations of sexual abuse by Alexander Wang." The statement, which was first reported by WWD, reads: "Let's be clear: The fashion industry's lack of transparency and accountability leaves all models vulnerable to abuse, regardless of their sex or gender identity."
The Alliance encourages anyone in need of support or help filing formal complaints to email email@example.com.
On Monday, renowned attorney Lisa Bloom announced her representation of "several men" who claim to be victims of Wang.
"The fashion industry is long overdue for a reckoning of its frequent, disturbing mistreatment of models. I’ve represented many alleging sexual misconduct in recent years," Bloom said in a statement shared with PEOPLE. "Models are not props, and they have the same rights to workplace respect as everyone else. I thank everyone who has reached out in support, and I’m happy to speak for free and confidentially to any others, including witnesses."
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.