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Fashion retailer Asos drafts in lawyers to investigate sexual harassment allegations

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Fashion retailer Asos drafts in lawyers to investigate barrage of sexual harassment allegations posted on an anonymous Instagram account

  • Asos drafted in independent lawyers to investigate sexual harassment claims
  • The £3.8b company were hit by claims of inappropriate behaviour on Instagram
  • The anonymous Instagram account claimed that Asos was run like a ‘boys’ club’
  • A woman said a staff member made comments about her breasts, a report said










Online fashion retailer Asos drafted in independent lawyers to investigate sexual harassment allegations.

The £3.8billion company and other fashion brands were hit by a barrage of claims of inappropriate behaviour on an anonymous Instagram account.

It was claimed Asos was run like a ‘boys’ club’. 

One woman said a senior member of staff had made comments about her breasts, while another said an older male colleague had winked or stared at female employees, and ‘loitered’ around the company’s headquarters after work, a report in The Daily Telegraph said.

Asos and other fashion brands were hit by a barrage of claims of inappropriate behaviour on an anonymous Instagram account (stock image)

Asos and other fashion brands were hit by a barrage of claims of inappropriate behaviour on an anonymous Instagram account (stock image)

Zehra Hussain, who left Asos after three years in May last year, said the man at the centre of this claim had behaved in a ‘sleazy’ manner at work. 

Complaints to the company have included allegations of sexual harassment, racism, bullying and homophobia, according to the report in the newspaper, which claimed it had spoken to dozens of staff. 

Following the revelations in the spring, the company invited staff to come forward if they had concerns and appointed City solicitors Lewis Silkin to support the review. 

The probe is understood to have finished and human resources teams are working through a ‘handful’ of cases raised, company sources said yesterday. 

Asos said: ‘As soon as we became aware of the allegations about us and other brands… we launched an internal review, supported by legal experts.’ 

It is the most recent example of the fashion industry being thrown into the spotlight over sexual harassment claims.

Following the revelations in the spring, the company invited staff to come forward if they had concerns and appointed City solicitors Lewis Silkin to support the review (stock image)

Following the revelations in the spring, the company invited staff to come forward if they had concerns and appointed City solicitors Lewis Silkin to support the review (stock image)

Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin was forced to stand down from the company following allegations of ‘forced hugging’ and kissing female staff’s ears. He denied the claims.

The former boss of Topshop’s Arcadia Sir Philip Green was accused in 2019 of using gagging clauses to silence staff accusing him of sexual and racial harassment.

Claims made by a pilates instructor in America that the fallen tycoon ‘slapped her butt’ were thrown out by a judge last year.

The ‘Me Too’ movement, which started in Hollywood in the US, and Black Lives Matter have sparked a wave of outrage about sexual harassment and racial discrimination at work.

Earlier this month, the advertising industry came into focus after a senior executive posted a blog about inappropriate workplace behaviour, which led to hundreds of women sharing their stories of being sexually assaulted, harassed and discriminated against.

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