Modeling agency Wilhelmina is facing more drama.
After Page Six reported that several staffers at its women’s division fled to rival Supreme Management, we’re hearing that a group of top reps for its male models will also jump ship.
“More agents are leaving the company. The ‘men’s image board’ is leaving Wilhelmina to join the Society, which is under the Elite umbrella,” a source told us. (Supreme is also an Elite firm.)
Sources said about four employees from the men’s division were exiting in the coming weeks.
Wilhelmina CEO Bill Wackermann sent out an internal memo Friday, announcing new hires as co-directors for the men’s division, Matthew Trust and Gene Kogan. He also e-mailed Page Six denying any departures: “For the record, no one has walked out. All men’s team is still employed by Wilhelmina,” he wrote.
Wackermann also told us: “The performance of the men’s division has suffered significantly for the past three years.” He added, “Taylor Hendrich, who formerly led the division, is still employed by Wilhelmina as is his team at this time.”
We exclusively reported May 26 that five women’s division employees left for Supreme: a director, three agents and a scout.
Wilhelmina then filed a $5 million suit against the workers, alleging in court documents that they all quit “within five minutes of each other” and that they violated their contracts. The employees countered in court papers that they left due to a “hostile work environment.” The lawsuit was discontinued by the parties this week.
But a source said: “The men’s division is also leaving because they were experiencing similar problems — a hostile work environment.”
Wackermann countered to us: “Any talk of unhappiness is nothing more than the bitter talk of disgruntled former employees whose performance frankly did not measure up. Wilhelmina eyes are on the future, not the past.”
He had said of the settled suit with the other exited staffers: “If you take on Wilhelmina . . . we will fight you tooth and nail.”
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