A fitness instructor who made his name training Victoria’s Secret models and at least one Miss USA winner exhibited less than model behavior when he recorded his clients in the locker room, police in North Texas say.
John Benton, 41, was arrested and jailed Wednesday on a charge of invasive recording. He posted a $20,000 bond at the Denton County Jail. Benton allegedly recorded clients in August 2020, according to court documents viewed by The Dallas Morning News.
In addition to advertising his size-zero client list, Benton hawked his online fitness classes as a way to avoid “that gym creeper guy.” Police allege that’s exactly who he was.
“All my clients can do my workouts from home if they want so they can avoid that gym creeper guy that is in every gym,” he said in an interview with The Bridal Journey.
On his website, Benton calls himself the “hips whisperer” and “a highly sought after Personal Trainer in the fashion, film, and pageant industries in Dallas” who is “known for making amazing strides in hip and waist reduction.” He documented his clients’ success by posting the number of inches they trimmed from their waists. He says he’s the official trainer for contestants in the Miss Dallas and Miss Dallas Teen pageants. Harper’s Bazaar reported in 2017 that models were flying to Dallas to train with him.
The Instagram account for John Benton Model Fitness frequently posted pictures of its clients, who range from Miss USA 2018 to Miss Dallas 2020 to Victoria’s Secret models to everyday women recording their progress with weight loss in their underwear.
Benton likely won’t refer to himself that way for much longer, though. His eponymous business issued a statement Thursday saying he was “stepping away,” effective immediately.
“Our clients, their respect and their safety are of the utmost importance to us at JB Model Fitness,” the statement reads. “With that, given the recent allegations and this ongoing legal matter, the founder is stepping away from the business effectively immediately. We take this matter very seriously.”
The business’ in-person classes have been suspended, according to the statement. The online classes, however, are still available.
John Benton Model Fitness did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.