Models Claim Alleged Assault and Harassment by Kardashian Photographer Marcus Hyde: ‘He’s a Complete Predator’

In 2016, at the age of 20 and in Los Angeles, CamiRaddd thought she’d hit her big break. On a friend’s suggestion, the aspiring model reached out to the fashion photographer Marcus Hyde on Instagram or Snapchat—she can’t remember which app—and he agreed to book her for a free session.

Only in town to visit her boyfriend, the Miami native was thrilled to get work with Hyde, who was fresh off of producing Complex magazine covers with Childish Gambino and Jhené Aiko.

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“I didn’t have a following, I didn’t have anything, so the fact that he wanted to shoot with me was a really big deal,” recalled CamiRaddd, now 24, who asked that The Daily Beast use her Instagram handle rather than legal name. While planning their time together over text, Hyde asked for nudes. CamiRaddd told The Daily Beast that she sent over a few naked snaps taken in her boyfriend’s bathroom.

“I know it sounds oblivious and naive and dumb, but I did it because I was hyped,” CamiRaddd said. “I went along because I didn’t know any better.” Besides, she rationalized, Hyde had earned thousands of Instagram followers through sharing his risqué, Terry Richardson-esque portraits of scantily-clad women.

CamiRaddd’s boyfriend warned her that he’d heard rumors of Hyde doing “bad stuff” to models, like plying them with alcohol to get them “buzzed” during shoots. (CamiRaddd’s boyfriend, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed her account to The Daily Beast.) But they’d just begun dating, and he didn’t want to come off as too clingy, so he agreed to drive her to the shoot at Hyde’s house.

Three years later, CamiRaddd wishes she had never gone. She claims Hyde sexually assaulted her.

Jared Siskin/Getty
Jared Siskin/Getty

This week, a model and interior design student named Sunnaya Nash posted screenshots of an Instagram conversation she reportedly had with Hyde. In it, the photographer—whose star has risen since 2016 via gigs with Kim Kardashian and Ariana Grande—told Nash he would take free photos of her.

There was just one catch: she had to be nude for the shoot. When Nash, 20, wrote that she does not pose nude, Hyde allegedly shot back that she would have to pay $2,000 for the session.

“But nude is free?” Nash tried to clarify through text.

“Yeah, gotta see if you’re worth it,” Hyde typed.

Nash, who has worked as a model in L.A. since she was 16, told The Daily Beast she has “pretty thick skin” when it comes to dealing with predatory DMs. She was going to move on from the exchange, until Nash sent her comments she found rude, such as “Find someone else. . .Ill keep shooting celebs.” (Hyde did not respond to repeated requests for comment made via phone, email, and his website, and through inquiries made to family members and friends.)

At home on Monday night, Nash decided to post the screenshots on her Instagram account, thinking only a few friends would notice. “I thought, ‘Fuck this guy,’” Nash said. “I felt like the only reason not to post it was fear of backlash from him, but after he was continuously disrespectful, I felt like sharing it. His response was laughable.”

The next day, the fashion industry-critical @DietPrada reposted her claims via their Instagram account, and they went viral. In the days since, a number of women have come forward to back up Nash’s stories, sharing their own horrifying experiences on set with Hyde.

The unprecedented backlash inspired both Kardashian and Grande to release statements distancing themselves from Hyde. Their mode of communication has been Instagram stories, but so far neither celebrity has mentioned Hyde by name.

“Dear models/artists in LA / anywhere,” Grande wrote in her typical, capital letter-less style. “i have just read some shocking and really heartbreaking stories. i hate that this is a conversation. please do not shoot with photographers who make you uncomfortable or make you feel like you need to take your clothing off if you don't want to. if you want to, sick. but if you don't, please don't. if they tell you you have to pay more money if you're clothed that's fucked and i'm sorry that has happened to you. i promise there are so many respectful, nice, talented photographers out there.”

A day later, Kardashian—who is currently studying for the bar exam—followed suit. “I have been reading all of the messages and stories from women regarding inappropriate and inexcusable behavior of a photographer that I have worked with in the past. My own experiences have always been professional, and I am deeply shocked, saddened and disappointed to learn that other women have had very different experiences. I stand in full support of every woman’s right to not be harassed, asked or pressured to do anything they are not comfortable with. We cannot allow this type of behavior to go unnoticed and I applaud those who speak out.”

Representatives for Kardashian and Grande did not respond to The Daily Beast’s repeated requests for comment. Since Monday, Nash and DietPrada have dutifully reposted anonymous messages from women chronicling allegations of misconduct or abuse suffered at the hands of Hyde.

This is not the first time women have spoken out against Hyde. Last year, a model named Charlie Qu wrote on Instagram that Hyde raped her in 2012. (Qu did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. After The Daily Mail published a story citing Qu as a victim but pointedly using bikini photos for the post, the model wrote a lengthy Instagram caption that read in part, “Don’t drag me back into this shit thanks.”)

A year and a half after #MeToo galvanized women in all industries to call for greater attention to issues of workplace misconduct, the fashion world in particular has had to reckon with its support of numerous alleged abusers.

Terry Richardson was blacklisted from sets at Conde Nast and fashion houses like Valentino in 2017. But whispers of his conduct have swirled in the industry since at least 2001.

In 2017, Richardson's representative issued a denial of all allegations to The Daily Beast. “He is an artist who has been known for his sexually explicit work so many of his professional interactions with subjects were sexual and explicit in nature but all of the subjects of his works participated consensually.”

Last year, 50 models spoke in a Boston Globe exposé accusing “at least 25 photographers, agents, stylists, casting directors, and other industry professionals” of misconduct.

Other photographers like Mario Testino, Bruce Weber, and Patrick Demarchelier were outed as alleged abusers. All three denied the allegations, with Demarchelier telling the Globe that his accusers were lying simply because models get “frustrated if they don’t work.”

When more than 12 male models and assistants came to The New York Times with stories about a lecherous Testino, his attorneys told the paper “that some of his accusers were mentally ill or were disgruntled employees.”

The Instagram account @ShitModelMgmt, a type of “Shitty Media Men” list for fashion, also began in 2018. The woman who started it told The Cut she later had to take down her list because she'd suffered death threats.

After the influx of Hyde allegations this week, the blacklist resurfaced. It was later banned by Instagram, but currently exists on Tumblr.

CamiRaddd told The Daily Beast that she is a survivor of Hyde’s assault, and this past week memories she has tried to repress for the past three years have resurfaced.

“Every time I see people post about [Marcus Hyde], I go through it again,” she said. “My experience wasn’t as traumatizing as getting raped, so I feel like my story doesn’t really matter. I’m at peace with it, but I definitely wish it didn’t happen.”

“It” began when CamiRaddd’s entered Hyde’s home, where she remembers getting ready for the shoot by doing her hair and makeup in his then-girlfriend’s room. After that, they headed to his rooftop. She called Hyde’s behavior “professional,” though he did offer her shots of Patrón tequila. She agreed, though she had skipped breakfast that morning and was worried about getting too drunk. Hyde also took shots.

“I have a conversation with everyone I work with, that I would never sleep with any photographers, at all,” CamiRaddd said. When she brought this up to Hyde, he took out his phone and showed her a point-of-view video of his penis, shot during sex.

“He was scrolling through the album and it was just video after video of girl after girl after girl,” CamiRaddd said. She told him she didn’t want to watch, and changed the subject.

Hyde moved CamiRaddd to a couch, where he instructed her to masturbate. “He said, ‘You can totally touch yourself to make the photo look fun,’” CamiRaddd remembered. She didn't want to, but after his cajoling, she agreed to try. When CamiRaddd stopped, Hyde told her the “pictures didn’t look good because it wasn’t real.”

“I felt like shit, and I tried it again,” the model said, but she gave up again, and Hyde suggested they move on to different poses.

CamiRaddd dressed in crotchless tights with no underwear for the photoshoot, and Hyde began to adjust the stockings right around her waist.

“I was OK with what was going on. But then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a minute into it he stuck his finger into me,” she remembered. CamiRaddd said she “freaked out” and demanded Hyde stop the session. She wanted to go home.

CamiRaddd texted her boyfriend at the time, asking him to pick her up. According to her boyfriend, her texts sounded as if she had been “spooked,” but she didn't specify that she had been assaulted.

“She told me, 'Yo, he was kind of weird,' but I didn’t know her that well at that time,” CamiRaddd's boyfriend said. “I can tell, now looking back, that she was flustered and wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.”

The boyfriend had expected the shoot to run longer, so he was about an hour away from Hyde's home. He suggested CamiRaddd call an Uber.

She did, but the driver wouldn't come directly to Hyde’s home. Hyde offered to take her to the pick-up location in his Range Rover.

Hyde gave CamiRaddd some merchandise he was selling at the time, and asked if she would post a “sexy selfie” in it. She agreed, but “threw away’ everything as soon as she decamped to her Uber.

Hyde asked CamiRaddd to come back and continue the shoot the next day; she says he texted her again asking if she wanted to, but she never replied.

CamiRaddd never received her photos from that session, and she believes Hyde withheld them because she wouldn’t sleep with him. “He basically has naked pictures of me and pictures of him putting his fingers in me without my consent and he can show anyone, whoever he wants, whenever he wants,” she summed up.

The model did not immediately disclose the abuse to her boyfriend, as they had just begun dating and were long distance, only seeing each other for a week at a time. Her boyfriend says it took about six months for her to share what happened.

CamiRaddd did not feel comfortable posing nude again with a professional photographer until this year. “When I shoot with men now, I get worried because I feel like all of them are trying to have photos of me to show their friends, or to do stuff with me,” she said.

As an influencer, part of CamiRaddd’s job is to showcase her body—and she’s begrudgingly used to the objectification that comes with it. “Yeah, we’re modeling and topless, but at the end of the day, we’re human,” she said. “We’re not objects, but everybody sees us that way. I just want people to see more than the photos.”

CamiRaddd thinks it’s “really cool” that Kim Kardashian and Ariana Grande posted stories of support, but she hopes more will come than mere condemnation.

“I’d tell [Kim] not to let him near any of her family,” she said. “Her family is full of women. Don’t let him near them or any of your kids. He’s a talented guy and he takes beautiful photos, but she needs to know that she can never have him around her or her family again. He’s a complete predator.”

CamiRaddd said that she doesn’t “hate” Hyde. “I want him to get help, honestly,” she said.

In 2018, the photographer lost control of his Mercedes while driving with a friend in Malibu, fell 200 feet to the ground, and crashed into an embankment. One police officer told TMZ at the time that Hyde suffered a “critical head injury.”

The accident left him in a coma. Kim Kardashian and her husband Kanye West donated $25,000 to a GoFundMe his friends and family set up after the incident. Six months later, Hyde was spotted out for the first time, in a wheelchair and wearing West’s “Sunday Service” merch at Coachella.

Aisslynn Malo Hotung, a model and friend of Hyde who was also injured in the crash, posted her own statement on Wednesday. She described how their professional relationship gradually developed into “a thing.” Hotung lived in Florida, and she stayed at Hyde's home when she traveled to Los Angeles to work.

Hotung noted that Hyde was “persistent” with asking her to shoot naked. She declined, but ended up posing for clothed photos that implied nudity because she felt comfortable with the photographer.

In a phone call with The Daily Beast, Hotung made it clear that she was never a victim of any sexual misconduct, though she felt “pretty aggravated” when Hyde pestered her for nudes.

Hotung says the car crash left her with a concussion, nerve damage, and PTSD. When Hyde came out of the coma, Hotung alleges that “he kept asking for nudes” through text.

She also wondered why Hyde would make open calls for models when he is still recovering and, as far as Hotung could see, not ready to take on the physical demands of a photoshoot. According to Hotung, Hyde currently lives in a suburb of Richmond, Virginia with his parents and uses a wheelchair.

When Nash, the model who first posted about Hyde's Instagram DMs, mulled over whether or not to make their conversation public, she also wondered if the accident was to blame for his bluntness.

“The thought that maybe he had some kind of brain damage did occur to me, because what he was saying [on Instagram] was so uncalled for,” Nash said. “But then I received these messages with girls saying they had experiences with him before the accident. That’s just his character; the incident didn’t impact it.”

CamiRaddd feels a sense of solidarity with the other women who have come forward, but she’s disillusioned by the #MeToo movement. “No one takes it seriously,” she said. “People make jokes about it all the time. It’s so common for this to happen in L.A. that I think people are like, ‘Whatever.’”

A former model named Lyn told The Daily Beast that six years ago she reached out to Hyde suggesting they work together. (Lyn knew of him through friends, and asked that The Daily Beast withhold her last name to protect her privacy.)

The two, who had casually followed each other on Instagram, got in touch through the app and set up a time to shoot. Hyde offered Lyn “TFP,” or time in exchange for photos, meaning he would waive his normally high rate.

A few days before the date they had agreed upon, Hyde messaged Lyn again, asking if she would pose nude. She was 19 at the time and uncomfortable with the suggestion, but she offered to pose in lingerie or a swimsuit. According to Lyn, Hyde told her it “wasn’t worth it” if she wouldn’t bare all.

“I walked away from the situation like, ‘Wow, maybe I’m not meant to be in this industry because I don’t want to do nude work,’” Lyn said. “I ultimately didn’t even really continue modeling. Maybe a couple shoots over the years, but that situation really affected the way that I am able to trust photographers.”

Lyn's partner, who did not wish to be identified, confirmed her story, though he admitted his memory of the incident was a bit “fuzzy.” As Hyde's star began to rise through his work with the Kardashians, a friend of the couple would sometimes bring his name up in conversation.

“He'd start talking about [Hyde], and [Lyn] would say something to the effect of, he’s kind of a creep or predator,” the partner said.

A rep for Facebook told The Daily Beast that Hyde's Instagram account had been disabled for violating the app's sexual solicitation policies.

Instagram also deleted Nash's initial accusation against Hyde. Someone flagged the screenshot as “bullying,” which led to the un-publishing of her post.

A Facebook spokesperson sent a short statement explaining the snafu to The Daily Beast: “This content was removed in error and has been reinstated. We apologize to Sunnaya for the mistake.”

As BuzzFeed News reported, Hyde went on a picture-deleting spree before his account was deactivated. Before his public call-out, Hyde had 590 published posts. There were only 390 by Tuesday.

If Hyde did indeed withhold images from women who wouldn’t have sex with him, this could also mean that models he potentially victimized no longer have access to those photos, either.

Miranda Frum is a writer and former model who has contributed to The Daily Beast. She has never met or heard stories about Hyde before this week, but Frum remains unsurprised by his alleged behavior.

“In this instance, he was preying on people who were willing to do whatever it took to actualize a dream,” Frum said over the phone. “I think because there is no regulation in the fashion industry, no union or laws protecting models, this happens a lot.”

Frum sits on the board of The Model Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit created to promote fair treatment of all workers in the fashion industry. The organization champions its Respect Program, a legal code of conduct based off of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ agricultural Fair Food Program. Anyone who violates the rules—such as a photographer or executive—is subject to a mandatory investigation.

While Frum calls DietPrada’s social media blast of Hyde “empowering for sure,” she warns that, “One cancellation does not a reform make.”

“In an industry that loves to keep things off the record, I think it’s time to put things on paper and have legal boundaries that protect everybody. It’s time to end the attacks on young girls,” Frum put it.

She also warned: “There are tons of Marcus Hydes out there, at all levels of the industry.”

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