The recently concluded fashion event Textile EXPO 2023 witnessed not only some stunning exhibitions but also a backstage dispute that has sparked widespread discussion about workplace safety and harassment. Models Nimra Jacob and Hasnain Lehri find themselves at the center of the controversy, with conflicting statements surrounding the incident.
As the models find themselves at odds with each other, organizer Tehmina Khaled denies any knowledge of the issue and emphasizes contractual obligations. With the spotlight on this incident, the industry faces scrutiny and the need for a more comprehensive approach to ensure the well-being of its women participants.
The video going viral on social shows Jacob accusing Lehri of physically assaulting her while the male model shouting in the background, “this is not acceptable”.
What Happened Between Hasnain Lehri and Nimra Jacob?
According to Nimra Jacob, she approached Lehri to complain about his runway walk that failed to make way for other models. Jacob claimed that Lehri became aggressive, hurling personal attacks and threatening her. Distressed, Jacob was unable to complete the finale and sought assistance from organizer Tehmina Khaled, who allegedly dismissed her concerns and sided with Lehri. Jacob further expressed disappointment over the manipulation of the narrative, denying the allegations of making personal attacks on Lehri’s father.
Jacob also recounted how other models, who witnessed the incident, corroborated her account and expressed concern for her well-being. Despite their efforts to address the issue with Khaled, they felt that their safety was not prioritized. Khaled’s swift departure after the show added to Jacob’s dissatisfaction. Subsequently, Jacob recorded Lehri’s aggressive behavior on her phone, fearing physical assault. She asserted her determination to speak up against workplace harassment and protect other models who have experienced similar exploitation and bullying.
In contrast, Hasnain Lehri denied the allegations of physical violence and claimed that he would never engage in such behavior due to his respectful upbringing. Lehri recounted that the confrontation arose when Jacob aggressively approached him backstage, criticizing his runway walk. As the argument escalated, Jacob mentioned Lehri’s deceased father, prompting him to request that she leave to avoid further conflict before the show’s finale. Lehri reported discussing the incident with organizer Tehmina Khaled and show director Nubain Ali, who allegedly informed him of Jacob’s prior issues with other models and brands.
Regarding the recording incident, Lehri stated that he repeatedly requested Jacob not to film him and eventually took her phone to prevent non-consensual recording. He insisted that he neither assaulted nor abused Jacob physically, maintaining that her friends sided with her while denying his version of events.
Response from the Organizer
Tehmina Khaled, the CEO of Take II PR and organizer of the event, offered her perspective on the incident. She refuted claims of involving the police, asserting that the security team at the venue adequately handled the situation. She emphasized the extensive security measures implemented for the TEXPO exhibition, which welcomed numerous exhibitors and buyers, including the presence of the prime minister.
Khaled clarified that the incident occurred hours after the show’s conclusion, after most designers and models had departed. She attributed the altercation between Jacob and Lehri to a longstanding personal feud rather than any fault of the event’s management.
Khaled also mentioned a separate incident involving Jacob and another model during rehearsals, highlighting the tendency of some models to create issues on social media. She expressed her reluctance to amplify petty disputes, citing contractual agreements and warning of potential legal action against those who continue to blame the event’s organizers.