The recent wave of sexual assault and misconduct allegations, which was sparked by accusations made against Harvey Weinstein in October 2017, have now affected yet another industry. Aaron Bondaroff, art dealer and former brand ambassador for Supreme footwear, has stepped down from his role with online radio and community platform KNOW WAVE as well as the Moran Bondaroff gallery, which he co-founded, after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct. Bondaroff insists the encounters in question were consensual but that he will step down in order to “focus on improving myself and making amends,” Artnet reports.
Canadian singer and model Dana Wright was the first to make an accusation against Bondaroff. On Sunday, she shared a screenshot of a text message exchange between Bondaroff and their mutual friend, Jeff Potocar. In a caption, she accused him of attacking her in his car after meeting up at his gallery in Los Angeles.
“It was terrifying, violent and painful,” Wright wrote. She told Artnet that he ripped her clothes, shoved his hand down the front of her bodysuit, and “aggressively groped her.” He also allegedly made her promise to never tell anyone.
DJ and photographer Musa Alves also accused Bondaroff of kissing her against her will. A third woman, who preferred to remain anonymous, said Bondaroff pressured her into an unwanted sexual encounter after lying to her about a professional meeting.
In a statement announcing Bondaroff’s resignation, KNOW WAVE said it has a “zero-tolerance policy for harassment of any kind” and that they “hear” the women who have come forward. Paul Simone has been named Director of Global Programming and Kai Lily will become Director of UK Programming.
Bondaroff responded to the accusations via his lawyer in a statement:
“My recollection of these consensual encounters is very different from what these women described [...] There was never a moment where someone told me to stop and I kept going. However, hearing these allegations has given me the opportunity to reexamine my behavior in all my past relationships. I am far from perfect and realize that I was insensitive and inconsiderate at times. That’s unacceptable and something I want to remedy. I recognize that I have sat in a position of privilege in this industry and perceptions are everything. As a result, effective immediately, I am resigning from Moran Bondaroff. I will take this time to focus on improving myself and making amends.”