Sex Predator Gérald Marie: Former models expose the ugly

Sex Predator Gérald Marie: Former models expose the ugly

Postby admin » Sat Jun 05, 2021 11:36 pm

Gérald Marie: Former models expose the ugly truth of the beauty industry
by 60 Minutes Australia
May 16, 2021

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First there was Harvey Weinstein, and then Jeffrey Epstein, two men so corrupted by their own power and money they thought it entitled them to sexually abuse any woman or teenager they lusted after. Now one of the icons of the world of modelling stands similarly accused of being a sex fiend. His name might not be familiar to those outside the beauty industry, but for decades Frenchman Gérald Marie, now aged 70, was the super-agent who decided, or torpedoed, the careers of supermodels. He even married one of the most famous of them all, Linda Evangelista. But a 60 MINUTES global investigation has uncovered more than a dozen former models with shocking accusations about him. They say he’s a predator who ritually abused and raped young women – including minors. As Tara Brown reports, the women are now demanding that Gérald Marie be held accountable for his depravity, and it seems prosecutors in France are finally taking notice.


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Re: Sex Predator Gérald Marie: Former models expose the ugly

Postby admin » Sat Jun 05, 2021 11:40 pm

Former Fashion Models Accuse Top Agent of Rape and Sexual Assault
Prosecutors in Paris are reviewing a complaint containing claims against Gérald Marie, former European chief of Elite Model Management, dating back decades.
by Elizabeth Paton, Vanessa Friedman and Constant Méheut
New York Times
Sept. 28, 2020

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The former head of one of the world’s biggest modeling agencies is facing a legal investigation in France, after four women reported claims of rape and sexual assault dating back to the 1980s and 1990s.

Gérald Marie, 70, was president for 25 years of the European division of Elite Model Management, an agency that at its peak represented the likes of Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford. Now, in a complaint submitted on Sept. 21 to the Judicial Tribunal in Paris, two models have accused him of raping them, with another model and a journalist making allegations of sexual assault, in episodes that took place more than two decades ago.

Carré Sutton, 51, and Jill Dodd, 60, accused Mr. Marie of raping them when they were 17 and 20, respectively. A third woman, Ebba Karlsson, 51, alleges that Mr. Marie sexually assaulted her when she was 20 during a meeting in his office at Elite in Paris in the 1990s. A fourth woman, Lisa Brinkworth, 53, says she was sexually assaulted by Mr. Marie while posing as a model and working as a journalist on a BBC modeling industry exposé in 1998.

The events described by the four women currently fall outside the French statute of limitations for rape and sexual assault, and some of the accusations have been public for years. But the women and their lawyer hope that Ms. Brinkworth can circumvent the time limit based on evidence that recently came to light. The other three women’s accounts were included with her complaint to bolster it.

News of the filings was first reported on Saturday by The Sunday Times of London. Mr. Marie, now chairman of Paris-based modeling agency Oui Management, told The Sunday Times that he “categorically” denied the allegations and said it would be inappropriate to comment further.

An official from the Paris prosecutors’ office confirmed on Monday that an investigation of Mr. Marie had been opened on allegations of rape and sexual assault, including of a minor. The investigation will examine the evidence and the question of the statute of limitations, and determine whether criminal proceedings can be brought against him.

The accusers’ lawyer, Anne-Claire Le Jeune, said: “There needs to be an investigation because, potentially, there are other women who were victims or who witnessed some abuse. For the victims, it’s a real relief and it shows that their voices are heard.”

“We want to work so that it doesn’t happen again,” she said.

The filings against Mr. Marie come at a time of renewed focus on abuse of power in the fashion business, more than two years after investigations spawned by the #MeToo movement shined a spotlight on the behavior of high-profile figures like the photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber, as well as other once-celebrated executives and industry players.

Last year, French prosecutors said they had opened an investigation into the scandal surrounding the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. One name that arose in court documents related to Mr. Epstein’s case was that of Jean-Luc Brunel, another former French modeling agent, who was accused by some of Mr. Epstein’s victims of procuring young girls for him.

Mr. Brunel has faced accusations of abuse himself: Three former models told The Guardian last year that he sexually assaulted them in the 1980s and 1990s in and around Paris. He has denied the allegations.

Ms. Le Jeune, the lawyer representing the women who claim they were assaulted by Mr. Marie, is also representing those accusing Mr. Brunel. She welcomed Monday’s announcement by the Paris prosecutors as an “encouraging first step,” though she acknowledged she was not sure it would result in prosecution.

Ms. Brinkworth is asking that her filing be accepted as a formal complaint, despite the passage of more than two decades, based on an old video. She contends it makes a direct reference to her assault by Mr. Marie, who left Elite in 2011, though the specifics of the video remain unclear.

After the episode, she was bound by a confidentiality agreement with the BBC and Elite, and so she thought she would never have access to the video, but another journalist has recently gained access to it, Ms. Le Jeune said.

“Access to the evidence is therefore possible,” she said.

The French modeling industry first came under scrutiny in the 1980s; in 1988, as part of a “60 Minutes” program, Diane Sawyer interviewed a number of young models in Paris who accused Mr. Brunel and associates of drugging and raping them. Their accounts did not result in a formal investigation.

Mr. Marie, a former husband of the supermodel Linda Evangelista, has also previously faced allegations of sexual impropriety and exploitation, an experience many young models once felt to be inevitable if they were to advance in their careers.

In 2011, Ms. Sutton, a former Calvin Klein model who worked under her maiden name, Carré Otis, published a memoir called “Beauty, Disrupted.” In it, she alleged in detail that Mr. Marie raped her when she was 17 and he was her agent. She was renting a room in his home in Paris at the time.

Similarly, in 2017, Ms. Dodd published a memoir, “The Currency of Love,” in which she reported being raped by Mr. Marie in his apartment after a night out when she was a young model in Paris. “I couldn’t speak French and had no idea what to do” — especially since Mr. Marie was steering her career, she said in an interview this week.

As #MeToo gained momentum in 2017, more models began to speak out against a culture of sexual harassment and abuse that had pervaded the industry for generations.

In 2018, a new French law extended the statute of limitation for the rape of a minor to 30 years, instead of 20. But the time limit for prosecuting the rape of an adult remained 20 years. In cases of sexual assault, such as that alleged by Ms. Brinkworth, the statute of limitations can range from six to 20 years, depending on the gravity of the assault.

Ms. Dodd said in an interview she had been contacted a few months ago by Ms. Brinkworth, who had read her book. Ms. Dodd said she had agreed to join the complaint because “any light we can shine on the secrets of bad behavior by powerful men to alert other women to it and protect young girls is a good thing.”

Modeling agencies are “perpetuating the systemic sexual assault and trafficking of young women and girls,” said Sara Ziff, a labor activist and founder of the Model Alliance, a nonprofit which aims to prevent abuse and exploitation of fashion models.

“Gérald Marie has been a known sexual predator for decades — like so many others in the modeling industry — but rather than a pink slip, it’s only earned him promotions.” she said.

She said, “We are pleased that an investigation has been opened by the prosecutor of Paris, and we hope that Gérald Marie’s victims finally get justice.”

Elizabeth Paton is a reporter for the Styles section, covering the fashion and luxury sectors in Europe. Before joining The Times in 2015, she was a reporter at the Financial Times both in London and New York. @LizziePaton

Vanessa Friedman is The Times's fashion director and chief fashion critic. She was previously the fashion editor of the Financial Times. @VVFriedman


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Gérald Marie is a Fucking Pig!
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Re: Sex Predator Gérald Marie: Former models expose the ugly

Postby admin » Sat Jun 05, 2021 11:47 pm

‘He wanted to control me completely’: the models who accuse Gérald Marie of sexual assault
Elite Models boss Gérald Marie was one of the most powerful men in fashion. Was he also a sexual predator? As French prosecutors investigate, four women tell their stories for the first time
A special investigation
by Lucy Osborne
The Guardian
Sat 17 Oct 2020 02.00 EDT

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In the spring of 1980, Wendy Walsh and her mother flew to Paris from their home in a suburb of Toronto, Canada. Walsh was 17, a straight-A student who excelled at maths. She was also an aspiring model whose blond, blue-eyed, girl-next-door look had already got her noticed; at a local hairdressing event, a couple of stylists from a Paris salon had offered to send her headshots to a leading model agency, Paris Planning. Letters and phone calls had been exchanged, and Walsh was invited to Paris.

At the agency’s offices, Walsh and her mother, Ellen, were introduced to the charismatic 30-year-old boss, Gérald Marie. Marie offered to take them to lunch. “So we went to a little outdoor bistro in the Place de la Madeleine, around the corner from the agency,” says Walsh, speaking on the phone from her home in Los Angeles. “It was the first time I ever had a croque monsieur, and he was explaining what it was. I realise now it’s a fancy grilled cheese sandwich. And I remember distinctly him fawning over my mother, and this was surprising to me. She had been an extremely beautiful woman in her youth, but lupus had left scars on her face.

“He reached over and was stroking her hand, and something in my 17-year-old stomach was like, this is weird.” Later, in their hotel room, Walsh remembers her mother saying: “‘Oh, that man is lovely, he’s going to take care of you.’ I look back on it with adult eyes, and I believe this is the way that he groomed families. He lured girls in by convincing them that somehow he would be this very safe guardian of their teenage daughter.


Two months later, in June 1980, Walsh moved to Paris. “I was young, I was naive, and I had stars in my eyes,” she says now. “I was not scared one little bit, because I trusted all the adults who were going to take care of me and make me a famous model.”

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Wendy Walsh, now 58, at home in Los Angeles. Photograph: Dylan Coulter/The Guardian

Walsh, who is now 58 and a respected US radio host, was one of dozens of hopefuls from across North America and Europe who made the journey to Paris in the summer of 1980. Over the following decades, thousands of young women went to work for Marie and other agencies there, desperate to make it as a model. But few became stars, and many were not taken care of in the way Walsh’s mother would have expected.

Within weeks of arriving in Paris, Walsh says, she was raped by Gérald Marie. A Guardian special investigation has found that she is one of eight women who allege they were sexually assaulted by Marie between 1980 and 1998. Four are speaking for the first time.

Last month, French prosecutors announced that they had opened an investigation into Marie, after a criminal complaint from four women: three former models, who have taken part in this investigation, and Lisa Brinkworth, a journalist who says she was sexually assaulted while working undercover for the BBC. Marie, who at 70 still works in the modelling industry, denies the allegations. In a statement to the Sunday Times about the French investigation, he said: “It would not be appropriate for me to comment at this time on the allegations of historic wrongdoing being made against me, other than to make it clear that I categorically deny them.”

By the time Wendy Walsh came to Paris in 1980, Marie had been at Paris Planning for five years, reportedly after a brief stint working as a dancer on local television. The son of a hospital administrator, he quickly earned a reputation as one of the most powerful and well-connected agents in Europe, a man who could make a model’s career with the click of a finger or a call to Vogue. In 1986, Paris Planning merged with Elite Model Management, the agency later credited with inventing the supermodel, and Marie became its European president. He ran the agency alongside Elite founder John Casablancas, who was based in New York; together, they helped launch the careers of Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen and others.

But behind the gloss and glamour of the 90s fashion world, Marie had established a reputation as a predator. A number of former models and industry insiders have told the Guardian his abusive behaviour was “an open secret”, and part of an ingrained culture of exploitation at the heart of the modelling world.

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Shh! Nobody cares.


In Paris, Walsh was assigned to Paris Planning’s new-faces division, and sent to “go-sees” with potential clients. In the evenings, the now 18-year-old was told to go to parties that might help her career. “It would be rich old playboys in very glamorous apartments with big bowls of cocaine. Everybody drunk. There was no business being done, no photographers there,” she says.

Around six weeks in, Walsh was told by a female booker that Marie wanted her to dye her hair brown, and she was sent to a hairdresser. That evening, she was invited to a party at which Marie would be present. “The only times I’d seen him had been in the agency, holding court,” Walsh says. At the party, in a tiny apartment, she found Marie sitting on a bed. “He said, ‘Come here’, and he put his hand through my hair, and he said, ‘This is good, this is what I like.’ And I thought he was my boss, telling me I was going to get a lot of work now.”

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Based on my own experiences, I believe these women are telling the truth. It breaks my heart and I admire their courage

-- Linda Evangelista


The next day, at the agency’s offices, Walsh was told that Marie wanted to meet her again, this time at his apartment. “With the wise eyes of a grownup, business meetings don’t take place at apartments at nine o’clock at night,” she says. “But when you’re 18 and believing all the adults around you, you just do what you’re told. So I went.

“In Paris, you hit the light switch at the bottom of the dark stairway, then you work your way up. I stood outside his door, and I knocked and knocked until the lights went out after three minutes, and I was scrambling around looking for a switch. I waited another three minutes, and then walked all the way home.”

Back at her apartment, the phone rang. It was her booker, telling her that Marie had been busy and that she should go back: he was waiting. By then it was 10pm, and Walsh had no money for a cab. “And so again, I walk and walk for 20 minutes through Paris at night.”


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Wendy Walsh in 1986. Photograph: courtesy of Wendy Walsh

Walsh knocked on Marie’s door. This time a young model came out, smiling and giggling. “She kissed him on both cheeks, said goodbye. So then I went in, and he said, ‘Oh, that girl, she’s one of our models, and she’s having so many problems with her boyfriend. They always come to me about their boyfriend problems.’”

Marie poured her a glass of champagne and offered her hors d’oeuvres. He told Walsh that he had heard she was Catholic, and that he was, too. “It was like, what was going to happen was OK, because he was a trusted person in my club or tribe.” Then, within minutes, “his hand was down my shirt, and he was saying to me, ‘You are the only model in the agency with large breasts – I love it.’ All I was thinking was, ‘If I make this man angry, I’ll never get work again.’”

Walsh tried to make excuses, telling Marie she wasn’t on the pill, and bargaining with him, like “a sweet, young, naive girl who’s afraid of people of power, who tries to say no, but doesn’t know how”. She alleges that he took off her clothes and anally raped her. “It hurt and I remember one thing distinctly: I buried my face in the pillow and said, ‘No’. It smelled of somebody else’s perfume.”

Afterwards, Walsh says, Marie grabbed a bunch of bananas from his kitchen, handed her one and asked if her roommate was “the other Canadian” (Walsh was sharing with another young model from Toronto). When she said yes, he laughed and asked her to give the girl a banana from him, she recalls. She arrived at her apartment, and asked her roommate if she had also had sex with Marie. “That was the only language I had for it then,” she says. Her roommate said yes. The next time Walsh saw Marie, he was at the agency with a male friend. “He was pointing to me and laughing,” she says. “It was the most humiliating moment.”

Walsh believes that part of the reason Marie was able to abuse new models like her was the language barrier. “I didn’t meet one French model while I was there. We were chosen specifically because we didn’t understand the language, would be away from home, and didn’t know what the hell was going on. He had complete control.”

Soon after the alleged rape, Walsh was invited to accompany her booker on a glamorous-sounding trip to Monte Carlo. But she had already been advised against travelling to the south of France by a more successful model, over tea in the twentysomething’s courtyard garden. The older model warned that this was a world of wealthy men and their boats, and that unsuspecting models could end up being exploited. “Bad things happen there,” she was told.

Jill Dodd never got the warning about the “bad things” that could happen in the south of France. Marie had invited the 19-year-old swim instructor to move to Paris after meeting her in her hometown of Los Angeles on a talent-spotting trip. Her Californian agent told her it was a great opportunity.


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Jill Dodd in Paris in 1980. Photograph: courtesy of Jill Dodd

Like Walsh, Dodd spent the spring of 1980 navigating the Paris Métro, and attending “go-sees” set up by Paris Planning. But after several weeks, she started to rack up debts to the agency, who were not only charging her fees, but also billing her for a dingy hotel and her flight from California. After one long day of rejections, Dodd recalls crying on a street corner as it got dark, feeling exhausted.

On 23 April 1980, Marie asked Dodd, then 20, and her roommate out dancing. She felt hopeful: time spent with her boss could be good for her career. She had seen Marie send the girls he liked “straight to Vogue without even an interview”. At the club, she recalls dancing awkwardly, watching her boss in his black leather jacket. He was a confident dancer and she thought he looked sexy – a different person from the “moody” manager she’d encountered at the office. In the early hours, Dodd and her roommate went back to Marie’s apartment. When her friend left, she stayed on. Dodd says Marie kissed her and she remembers relishing the attention. “I’d only had one serious boyfriend at that time.” When Marie offered to run her a bubble bath in his marble tub, she agreed, and afterwards joined him in his bedroom to watch a John Wayne film. But “all of a sudden”, she says, Marie raped her. “It happened so fast,” she says. She shouted, “Stop”, but he did not.


This man had control of your life. So you make him think you’re enjoying it – then you get the hell out


In the days that followed, Marie told Dodd he wanted to be her boyfriend, and scribbled her a note (seen by the Guardian) saying: “I want you to behave when I’m away… don’t forget! Love, Gérald”. “I was so immature, and even though it was rape, I was confused,” she says now. “I was like, ‘Oh, he does like me! He’s so powerful.’”

Soon afterwards, Dodd says, she discovered that Marie had tried to have sex with her roommate; the former roommate, who spoke to the Guardian on condition of anonymity, confirms this. She added that, months later, Marie tried again. This time, she alleges, he tricked her into being alone in a room with him; she felt the only way out was to perform oral sex. “This man had control of your life. So you make him think you’re enjoying it – then you get the hell out.”


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The billionaire Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi in 1996. Photograph: Getty Images

When Dodd was invited to Monte Carlo that summer, she jumped at the opportunity to take a break from go-sees. On her first night, she went to a party where she was introduced by her Paris Planning booker to Adnan Khashoggi, the Saudi billionaire arms dealer, then said to be the richest man in the world. The following day, Dodd says, she and the booker were invited to stay the night on his yacht, and offered their pick from a closet full of couture gowns for the evening. That was the start of a “relationship” between Dodd and Khashoggi: “I was basically one of his harem wives for almost two years,” she says now.

But it was a more transactional relationship than she knew. “It wasn’t until the end of our relationship that I found out that he had paid to meet me,” Dodd says. “I was chosen out of a bunch of pictures by Adnan.” She says she realised this when one of Khashoggi’s assistants came into their hotel room one evening with a portfolio of pictures of women. She says the assistant openly went through the photographs, asking whom he would like to meet, and discussing fees between $35,000 and $50,000. She says Khashoggi, who died in 2017, later admitted that he had paid Paris Planning to be introduced to her. “It was all a front. I had been manipulated and used.”


Ann Maguire was on her first modelling shoot, in Rome, when she was scouted by Marie. Maguire, from Virginia, was 5ft 11in, with striking blue-green eyes, high cheekbones and thick eyebrows; she was often likened to Brooke Shields. She had just turned 18, and was new to the world of fashion. “I was the jock, always sporty. I’d never even worn mascara before,” she tells me now. She says Marie showered her with compliments and made her feel “a million dollars”. He invited her to Paris and promised to get her work straight away. Maguire signed up to Paris Planning, and on 31 January 1980 moved into Marie’s spare room: she is one of several former models the Guardian has spoken to who were put up in his apartment. (While Maguire, Walsh and Dodd all worked for Paris Planning in 1980, they have never met or heard each other’s stories.)

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Ann Maguire in 1985. Photograph: Robert Christian

Maguire, now 60, has decided to speak for the first time about what happened next. Initially, she says, Marie was charming. “He would play great music and fix great meals, all this kind of stuff… Then, as it grew into a friendship, he proceeded to abuse that.” She alleges she was raped several times by Marie while living in his apartment, and that at night he would ignore her pleas for him to stop and “crawl into bed with me”. She remembers him “flaunting” other models he was romantically involved with, kissing them in front of her, or joking that their toothbrush was in his bathroom. In her notebook at the time, which she still has, she scribbled: “Fight with Gérald” and “Too fat!”

Eventually, Maguire snapped. “I said, ‘Screw you, I’m going to get my own apartment.’” But after moving into an apartment with other models, she says her work stopped. She began busking with her guitar, and one day returned home to find a note from Paris Planning telling her she could no longer live there. She says all her shoes and her passport were missing, which she believes Marie took: “He wanted to control me completely.” She began sleeping on a bench in front of the Louvre.

A booker at the agency arranged for her to stay with another man, who she says also sexually abused her. Maguire wishes now that she had reported the assaults to the police, but didn’t consider it at the time “because I was afraid of not working again”. She explains: “I thought they would laugh at me. ‘You’re living in his house, what do you expect?’ I also didn’t speak French well enough to explain.”


On one of several phone calls with me, Maguire breaks down in tears; she tells me it is a time of her life she would rather forget. She returned home to Virginia and didn’t model again for at least another year.

Another former model, EJ Moran, says that when she was in her 20s, she was raped so violently by Marie that she feared for her life. Now 61 and an author, she is still scared of him, 40 years on. One evening in the summer of 1981, when she was turning 22, she was phoned by a booker at Paris Planning to say she had to attend a dinner with Marie right away. “I really didn’t want to go,” she recalls. “But I felt coerced into it [by the booker].” Dodd and Walsh say the same woman arranged their evening meetings with Marie, and sent them to parties they didn’t want to go to.

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EJ Moran in 1981. Photograph: courtesy of EJ Moran

The booker “disappeared abruptly right after dinner”, Moran recalls, and Marie persuaded her to go up to his apartment, which was across the street, so he could show her promotional videos for the agency’s most famous models. “VCRs were a new thing in the 80s,” she explains. Moran remembers she was wearing “lavender-coloured pumps, a white blouse and a forest-green sweater”, as well as “mom jeans”. Suddenly, she says, Marie raped her. “Before I know it, I was thrown on the bed. He took his open palm and smashed my face into the bed.” He verbally abused her, in what she describes as “a terrible low voice”.

Afterwards, Moran says, the “debonair and charming” Marie returned, asking her to stay the night. She made an excuse about needing to change her contact lenses; she was scared that if she wasn’t polite, he would hurt her again. In the following days, she received a call from the booker telling her she had a well-paid catalogue job in Belgium and needed to get on a train. Moran says now that she believes this was “a message”: that if you “play this game and stay quiet, you’ll get all this work”. Other women who told the Guardian they were sexually assaulted by Marie remember being offered lucrative jobs in the days that followed.

Ten years later, by 1991, the modelling industry had hit its golden years, and Marie was firmly at its helm. The original supermodels, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford, had signed with Elite Model Management, then run by Marie alongside Elite US president John Casablancas. Elite had offices around the world, from Tokyo to London; Marie now reportedly owned homes in Manhattan, Saint-Tropez, Ibiza and Paris. He had also been married to Evangelista for more than four years, telling an interviewer that he had left his previous girlfriend, American model Christine Bolster, “within the hour” of meeting Evangelista.

In 1991, the couple were among the celebrity guests at the final of Look of the Year, Elite’s annual international modelling contest, in New York. Evangelista wore her hair in a striking red bob with a heavy fringe, and towered over Marie, who wore a black suit and tie, his hair slicked back. Evangelista joined Naomi Campbell to present a prize, while Marie sat with fellow judges Casablancas and Donald Trump in the audience.

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Shawna Lee, then 15, in Paris in 1992. Photograph: courtesy of Shawna Lee

Canadian schoolgirl Shawna Lee was a 15-year-old Look of the Year finalist the following year. In the weeks leading up to the 1992 contest, she was sent by Elite to Paris from her hometown outside Toronto to build up her portfolio. She had already visited in the spring, staying in Marie and Evangelista’s flat while they were on holiday. “She was my idol,” Lee says now. “I was walking around her apartment and seeing these shoots she’d done with [Vogue photographer] Peter Lindbergh, so it was obviously pretty exciting.” This time, she was put up in an apartment with other models; but after an evening out at the nightclub Les Bains Douches, Lee ended up back at Marie’s apartment where, she says, he raped her – an allegation published as part of a Guardian investigation into Look of the Year in March. Speaking more recently from her home in Toronto, where she works as a makeup artist, Lee adds: “What is grossest is him asking me to put Linda’s T-shirt on to sleep in, then pouncing on me.”

Evangelista divorced Marie in 1993, after separating from him the year before. Speaking exclusively to the Guardian, she said: “During my relationship with Gérald Marie, I knew nothing of these sexual allegations against him, so I was unable to help these women. Hearing them now, and based on my own experiences, I believe that they are telling the truth. It breaks my heart, because these are wounds that may never heal, and I admire their courage and strength for speaking up today.”

At the time, Lee confided in a fellow model, and this got back to Marie. She says he took her into his office and berated her for “going around saying I raped you”, suggesting her career would be on the line. She says he told her: “What else are you going to do? Go back home and flip burgers?” Other staff at the agency found out: “It was just understood that it was in my best interests to brush it under the rug.”

At least five women the Guardian spoke to say they experienced sexual misconduct from other men who worked with or for Marie. Lee says that after Marie raped her, a Paris Elite scout and friend of Marie told her that the two men had been competing over “who was going to get your virginity”. She says the scout was “kind of mad that he [Marie] got it first.”

Lee, then 15, went on to have a sexual relationship with the scout, which at the time she thought was consensual. As an adult, she’s not so sure: “It was definitely an abuse of power.” The Guardian has spoken to two other former Elite models, then 15 and 17, who allege they were sexually assaulted by the same scout, and one, then 19, who says he raped her.

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Swedish model Ebba Karlsson in 1989. Photograph: courtesy of Ebba Karlsson

Swedish model Ebba Karlsson, who was 20 in 1990, alleges she was raped that year by a different Elite scout, and that, days later, she was introduced to Marie. Karlsson says that when she arrived at his office, the first thing he did was lower the blinds. “There was a window between his office and other people in the agency,” she explains. She says Marie then took her through the portfolios of famous models he represented and asked her if she knew what they did to become successful. Then, she says, “Suddenly, his hand was inside my vagina. It was so quick and abrupt, I totally froze.” After the meeting, she sat down on the “first available bench” and cried, feeling “ashamed and in shock”.

On another occasion, Karlsson agreed to go to a “casting” at Marie’s apartment. He had told her she had a lot of film potential because she spoke several languages. The other models there looked younger than her, she says, perhaps 16 or 17, and some were living in his apartment. “Some were sick, they had colds or something, and did not look great.” She and the others were told to take off their clothes, don high heels, then walk and pose for Marie and two other men. “They wanted to see our boobs. And I don’t know if that was the common practice, but it was like a meat market. It was horrible.”

A movie never materialised, and Karlsson went back to Sweden as soon as she was able, returning to her job at the Body Shop. “Marie took my power away,” Karlsson says now. “I was powerful before, I could protect myself. But after that, I was just a shaking leaf.”

In 2011, the supermodel Carré Otis published a memoir, Beauty, Disrupted, which included claims that she was repeatedly raped by Marie when she was 17. In an interview with the Guardian, Otis says it started around 1986, the year Paris Planning merged with Elite. She was staying in Marie and Evangelista’s apartment; it was the early days of his relationship with the supermodel. “Linda was maybe a little bit older than me,” Otis recalls. “She was soaring, she was already a star in the sky.” But when Evangelista was out of town, “he attacked me in the middle of the night”, she says. “I was sick and I had a fever. That was the beginning of many such attacks.”

Otis went on to become an enormously successful model, and was married to the actor Mickey Rourke, her co-star in the 1989 film Wild Orchid. But in the mid-1980s, like the other women interviewed for this investigation, she was still pounding the pavements looking for work. In her book, Otis writes that Marie told her she needed to drop more weight, giving her “a small brown glass vial of cocaine every day… this was the key to model weight management”. She says now: “It was made very clear that, if I wanted to make it, I would have to deal with his advances. That continued until I actually did say no, and then my work stopped.” Otis is one of the four women whose complaints triggered the French investigation, along with Karlsson, Dodd and journalist Lisa Brinkworth.

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Model and actor Carré Otis. Photograph: Getty Images

Otis says she was also abused by others connected to Marie or his agency. She alleges she was raped in her hotel room by a hairdresser on a shoot arranged by Elite. She believes that Marie and other Elite agents were making money by sending models on trips where there was “no actual work”, or to parties with wealthy men who had no connection to the industry. “I was definitely pimped out,” she says. For Dodd – who says she was sexually assaulted at a party she was sent to by Paris Planning, and by another man on a shoot arranged by the agency – this was “out in the open” in 1980. “There were all these offers of, ‘If you go on this trip, you have to sleep with the photographer,’” she says. “It was talked about out loud.”

It was just such a trip – to Monte Carlo – that Wendy Walsh had refused to make, back in the summer of 1980. Instead, the 18-year-old Canadian wrote to her parents from Paris, a letter they kept and which she now has. Reading it now, her disillusionment is clear: “I refuse to hang around in their social circles, and act like a prostitute to get work,” she wrote in what Walsh describes as her “swirly, little-girl handwriting”. “Unfortunately, as much as I wish it weren’t so, I have discovered that this business operates on a totally social level. If you don’t cooperate, you get stepped on.”

Marie Anderson, who worked for Elite between 1983 and 1990, says that to understand how Marie was able to get away with his alleged behaviour, one has to grasp the “complete control” model agencies had during this era. “It was like a cult mentality,” she says. Anderson, who worked for Elite Chicago, first as a booker and later as vice-president, says she remembers at least six different models telling her that Marie had been sexually inappropriate with them, but they swore her to secrecy, “terrified” that they would stop getting work if they complained. She recalls overhearing Trudi Tapscott, an executive at Elite in New York from 1984 to 1991, and another agent, tearfully pleading with Marie and Casablancas to stop sleeping with underage models, some time in the late 80s. Anderson says she could only warn others against working in Paris: “I wish I could have done more.”

Tapscott, who is still a model scout, began working for Elite at the age of 23. She says: “I was only a little bit older than the models, and also taken in by the glamour. We didn’t have the language then to know that this was wrong, and even if we did, who would we report it to? We were like a family and there was no HR department; this was the culture that protected these men. I have tremendous regret about not doing more at the time.”

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Gérald Marie with Elite Model Look contestants in Nice in 2001. Photograph: Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images

Most of the models who spoke to the Guardian did not tell their agents about their alleged abuse, for fear it would get back to Marie. Walsh talks in terms of “psychological shackles”. “I was trapped by the fact that they’d gotten me into debt right away,” she says. “And then you had your parents at home with stars in their eyes going, ‘Send us pictures, honey, tell us how it’s going, we want to tell everybody about our famous little girl!’ And you just didn’t want to let down your parents. You didn’t want to be a failure. What a horrible catch-22 to put a teenager in.”

In 1999, it looked as if Marie’s alleged behaviour had caught up with him when a BBC investigation reportedly filmed him saying he hoped to seduce the contestants at Elite Model Look (the new name for Look of the Year), as well as offering an undercover journalist money for sex. In the wake of the allegations, he was suspended from Elite; in an interview at the time, he said: “I’m destroyed… I’m finished.”

But Elite launched a libel action against the BBC, arguing that the report was “dishonestly edited”; the agency successfully made the case that Marie had been set up by the crew. The case was settled, the BBC apologised and conceded that its portrayal was unfair. The film disappeared and Marie was reinstated, continuing to run Elite Model Look for many more years.


People ask how I got brave. I say: I’m a woman of a certain age. What I mean is, I learned the hard way. Gérald Marie prepared me


After years of financial mismanagement, Elite was forced into bankruptcy in 2004, splitting into two separate agencies, owned by different corporate entities, which still operate today. Marie is believed to have continued working with the New York division of Elite, Creative World Management, until as recently as 2011. The company declined to comment, but a spokesperson told the Guardian in March that it condemns the kinds of “deplorable behaviour” alleged to have taken place at Elite in the past.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Elite World Group said: “We find these alleged criminal acts egregious and abhorrent. Gérald Marie’s contract with Elite Model Management ended in December 2010, and the company was sold in 2011 to its current owners Elite World Group, for whom Marie has never worked. Elite World Group is committed to providing a safe environment for our models, and does not tolerate any form of abuse, harassment, discrimination and/or gender bias.”

In 2012, Marie joined Oui Management, a prestigious Paris agency whose models front Louis Vuitton campaigns and Vogue magazine covers. He remains an investor in Oui, which is registered in the UK: company documents filed in August this year state that Marie continues to be a “person with significant control” over Oui Management Ltd.

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Marie with his then wife, Linda Evangelista, at the 1991 Elite Look of the Year contest in New York. Photograph: Ron Galella/Getty Images

Although Marie has claimed he is retired, industry insiders who work with Oui Management say that until recently he had a “hands-on” role. One source has shown the Guardian emails that indicate Marie was accompanying models on castings with photographers as recently as last year. Marie’s LinkedIn page, which he recently deleted, had listed his responsibilities at the “thriving newcomer” agency as scouting for and managing talent. Oui Management has told the Guardian that Marie is not currently an employee.

Now married to a Russian model, Marie splits his time between Paris and his home in Ibiza, which according to a local paper has “the best French wine cellar on the island”. Responding to the new allegations put to him by the Guardian, his lawyers said that he was “extremely affected by the accusations made against him, which he contests with the utmost firmness… He intends to actively participate in the manifestation of the truth within the scope of the opened criminal investigation.”

Is the predatory culture of the modelling industry in the 1980s and 1990s a thing of the past? Both Anderson and Tapscott say that there is still a pressure to “stay silent” – one that applies to agents, too. Anderson says: “I can’t get a job in the modelling business any more, because I’ve been ostracised for talking out about this stuff.” She adds that it “speaks volumes” that Marie is still involved with an agency today. “It is living proof that the cult-like mentality still exists, and the code of silence remains.”

Meanwhile, the eight women who spoke to the Guardian say that, even 30 to 40 years after their alleged abuse, the impact on their lives has been lasting. Walsh, Dodd, Lee and Otis all battled eating disorders as a result, and several accusers went on to experience problems with alcohol or drugs.

Otis left Paris in 1987, moving to a farm in northern California for several months to get as “far away from [modelling] as possible”. But when her money started to run out, she approached a small agency in San Francisco and got a few jobs. “It felt safe and stable and normal,” she says. “You knew you were going to get off at five.” From there, her career took off. In 1988, she did an American Vogue cover shoot with Evangelista, the first ever to feature two models, in which they posed together on a Greek beach in matching jumpers and black caps, smiling and laughing. (There is no suggestion that Evangelista was aware of the allegations against her husband at the time.) In 1991, Otis became the face of Calvin Klein and joined Evangelista as one of the world’s most recognisable models; unlike many other women the Guardian has spoken to for this investigation, she found success without Gérald Marie.

Dodd, who is now 60, became a successful businesswoman (she is the founder of the surf brand Roxy) and lives with her husband and three children in the north Californian countryside. “I made it out,” she says, although she stresses that the years that followed weren’t easy.

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Wendy Walsh took a degree in journalism and a PhD in clinical psychology, and is now a broadcaster. Photograph: Dylan Coulter/The Guardian

Walsh remembers crying down the phone to her parents in 1980, asking them to get her home for the summer, and then back to school. “I was sitting in my mother’s basement, suffering from depression, not knowing what that was at the time,” she says. “I was just eating and crying.” She says she is coming forward now, “because I believe this is still a problem for girls in the industry today, and it needs to stop.”

After gaining a degree in journalism and later a PhD in clinical psychology, Walsh became a successful broadcaster. In 2017, she was the first woman to go public with sexual harassment allegations against Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. Walsh told a New York Times investigation that, when she was a regular guest on The O’Reilly Factor in 2013, he reneged on a verbal offer to secure her a lucrative position after she declined an invitation to his hotel suite. He was later sacked by Fox after it emerged he had paid five women tens of millions of dollars to settle various sexual harassment lawsuits. At the time, O’Reilly said there was no merit to the allegations. “I never mistreated anyone,” he said, adding that he had resolved matters privately to protect his children from publicity.

Walsh is now a qualified psychotherapist and hosts the Dr Wendy Walsh radio show. “People say, ‘How were you so brave to just go, “No”, to this powerful man who offered you a major job on television in America?’” she says. “And what I said in all the press conferences is that I’m a woman of a certain age, I’ve had some life experience. But what I really meant is, I learned the hard way. What happened with Gérald Marie prepared me for what happened with Bill O’Reilly, 30 years later. What I learned when I was 18 was to never go to the private quarters of any powerful man, whether he held your paycheck or not.”
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Re: Sex Predator Gérald Marie: Former models expose the ugly

Postby admin » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:25 am

John Casablancas: The Story Of The Monster Who Created The Modern Modeling Industry
by Melissa Sartore
ranker.com
Updated June 14, 2019

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


John Casablancas founded one of the world's best-known modeling agencies, Elite Model Management, in 1972. Five years later, he started an agency in New York and soon went global. Through Elite Models, Casablancas discovered models like Stephanie Seymour, Cindy Crawford, and Naomi Campbell, essentially inventing the concept of a "supermodel" in the process.

But as is the case with most industries, modeling carries a seedy underbelly, and Casablancas was a spurious proponent of discrimination against women and borderline child exploitation beneath his facade of craft and glamour. In addition to his positive influence on modeling, there were numerous scandals involving John Casablancas, especially as his predatory relationships with his modeling talent became clear. As a middle-aged man spending most of his time around beautiful women, Casablancas acted the part of a degenerate behind the scenes while using his modeling agency as his glamorous playground.

Casablancas passed in 2013. Quite telling is the fact that none of his high-profile former clients — the world's first supermodels — made statements or came to pay their respects. He'd not earned it.

He Used To Party With Donald Trump And Provide Him With Models

Victorious
@VBrown13245591
You're known by the company you keep, and Donald Trump has kept company with -- to use his words -- some "bad hombres," and pediphile [pedophile] John Casablancas was one of the worst.
Image
2:14 PM Dec 17, 2017


John Casablancas and Donald Trump used to run in the same circles. In the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Trump, an incident involving the two men and several models came to light. At a dinner party both men attended in 1996, Casablancas provided models for the event. The men at the party reportedly requested

"...the models walk on the table so that they could peek under their skirts and comment on whether they were wearing underwear. They also remarked on what the women’s genitals looked like."


Trump's interest in the modeling industry ostensibly grew. He owned his own modeling agency, known as Trump Models, between 1999 and 2017. The agency closed amid claims of human trafficking and "modern day slavery" in regards to the treatment of the models he represented.

President Donald Trump marked the 20th anniversary Friday of federal legislation to help combat human trafficking by dedicating a new White House position to the issue.

Surrounded by survivors, administration officials and members of Congress, Trump signed an executive order creating the position at the conclusion of a White House summit on human trafficking.

He declared his administration “100 percent committed to eradicating human trafficking from the earth,” and called the practice a form of “modern-day slavery.”

-- Trump signs order creating position focused on combating human trafficking, by pbs.org, Jan 30, 2020


He Held Wet T-Shirt Contests At Xenon, The New York Nightclub

parismatch_vintage
@matchvintage
1978 - #JohnCasablancas lance a #NewYork une succursale de son agence de mannequins #Elite ebx.sh/2wwJsoS [Google translate: #JohnCasablancas launches a branch of its modeling agency #Elite ebx.sh/2wwJsoS in #NewYork]
Image
3:20 AM Aug 20, 2017


During the early 1980s, John Casablancas made partying part of his job. He went on record as saying that he preferred "a model that parties a little too much to a model that doesn’t party enough" and provided plenty of opportunities for models to make an impression.

After he was turned away from the popular nightclub Studio 54, Casablancas decided that he'd focus on Xenon, another hotspot in New York City. He threw several parties at Xenon, sending t-shirts from Elite Models as invitations, which the women wore when they attended. The models would show as much skin as possible while wearing the shirts, but one night, after Casablancas had a temporary pool installed for the occasion, the party turned into a wet t-shirt contest. On another occasion, he had a pajama party of sorts where models wore nothing but lingerie.

John Casablancas Thought His Own Daughter Had 'A Great Little Body'

casablancas.fp
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#JulianCasablancas #CecileCasablancas


In preparation for her profile on John Casablancas for New York Magazine in 1988, reporter Dinah Prince observed the modeling scout and agent with some of his biggest talent. She watched Casablancas interact with famous models like Iman, Andie MacDowell, and Carol Alt, and she saw him chime in to try to take part in their conversations.

The three women were discussing their families, so Casablancas told the group about how his daughter, Cecile, had been asked by a photographer to model for him during a trip to Ibiza the previous year. Casablancas then told them that he tried to get $2,000 for the shot because "she's got a great little body."

He Was Hot For Both Stephanie Seymour And Her Mom

stephanieseymour
Image
stephanieseymour
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there ... and most especially mine! Love you momma. XO, S


John Casablancas told New York Magazine that he noticed Stephanie Seymour's mother before he ever noticed the future supermodel, recalling that she was "absolutely ravishing" and "much more interesting" than her daughter. It doesn't seem like anything happened between Seymour's mother and Casablancas, but the 41-year-old was, to the teen Seymour, her "first everything."

Stephanie's mother was highly encouraging when it came to her daughter's modeling career, helping her get her father's permission to go to Paris, Rome, and Acapulco. When she finally broke the news of her relationship with Casablancas to her father, he simply suggested she was making a mistake. Casablancas swooped in and charmed Seymour's father and, according to Stephanie Seymour, "convinced my father that he loved me more than anybody in this world."

His Third Wife Was 17 Years Old When They Married

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John Casablancas married Aline Wermelinger in 1993. The model was one of Casablancas's own creations and was 17 years old at the time — her new husband was 50. Wermelinger had participated in an Elite's Look of the Year in her native Brazil the previous year. She was, by her own admission, "deeply religious and virginal." In the contest, she had even told the judges about her favorite book of the Bible.

Casablancas and Wermelinger had a short courtship, dating for only three months before Casablancas went to Brazil to meet her family. He called their chemistry "electric" but also admitted "I’m not saying the relationship will last forever. But who knows?" Aline and John were married until his passing in 2013.

He Went On A Insult Binge Against His Supermodels

Charles-Antoine Bertaux dit "CAB" @CABertaux Dec 12, 2017
Replying to @CABertaux
faiseur de TOP MODELS
L'HOMME QUI AIMAIT LES FEMMES
qui l'a prouve en creant l'agence #elite en 1972 aurait celbre son 2Seme anniversaire ce 12 decembre
JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE M. JOHN #CASABLANCAS
Le dernier #playboy @BertyRocher @grazi_fr grazia.fr/culture/cinema...
Google translate: [maker of TOP MODELS
THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN
who proved it by creating the #elite agency in 1972 would have celebrated its 2nd anniversary on December 12
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR JOHN #CASABLANCAS
The latest #playboy @BertyRocher @grazi_fr grazia.fr/culture/cinema ... ]
Image
Charles-Antoine Bertaux dit "CAB"
@CABertaux
La TOP MODEL @NaomiCampbell (ici avec feu John @CASABLANCAS) interviewee a 22H40 par @LeaSalame dans #Stupefiant sur les "MONUMENTS DE LA MODE" sur @France2tv
[Google translate: The TOP MODEL @NaomiCampbell (here with the late John @CASABLANCAS) interviewed at 10:40 pm by @LeaSalame in #Stupefiant on "MONUMENTS DE LA MODE" on @ France2tv]
Image
1:40 PM Feb 5, 2018


Casablancas retired from the modeling industry in 2000, one year after a BBC documentary came out that depicted Elite Models as racist and exploitive, challenging Casablancas' integrity and legacy. He moved to Brazil with his young wife, Aline.

After he left, he didn't hold back from talking about the women he had worked with over the years. He called Naomi Campbell "odious" and expressed happiness at having fired her, labeled Gisele Bündchen "a monster of selfishness," and identified Heidi Klum as a "talentless sausage."

His Relationship With A Teenaged Stephanie Seymour Ended His Second Marriage

When Casablancas was 41, he began an affair with the teenaged Stephanie Seymour – reports claim she was either 15 or 16 at the time. Seymour met Casablancas at a modeling competition and, although he was married to his second wife, Jeanette Christiansen, at the time, he and Seymour soon began a relationship that lasted for two years. Their affair led to Casablancas's divorce from Christiansen – a former model and 1965's Miss Denmark – in 1983.

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Jeanette Christiansen


Casablancas described Seymour in a manner that provides insight into his overall demeanor. He told Prince:

"[Seymour is] a girl of extremes...and the way she developed – there’s a quality that developed about her that is this incredible sensuality that a woman-child has, a true woman-child … her voice is a child’s, her attitudes, the way she holds her feet and her hands are those of a child, at the same time with an incredible sensuality to it. And that mixture was and is so explosive … This was something like a forbidden fruit for both of us."


Casablancas also said that Seymour was the only woman "that really broke my heart.”

Image
Stephanie Seymour


John Casablancas told New York Magazine that he noticed Stephanie Seymour's mother before he ever noticed the future supermodel, recalling that she was "absolutely ravishing" and "much more interesting" than her daughter. It doesn't seem like anything happened between Seymour's mother and Casablancas, but the 41-year-old was, to the teen Seymour, her "first everything."

Stephanie's mother was highly encouraging when it came to her daughter's modeling career, helping her get her father's permission to go to Paris, Rome, and Acapulco. When she finally broke the news of her relationship with Casablancas to her father, he simply suggested she was making a mistake. Casablancas swooped in and charmed Seymour's father and, according to Stephanie Seymour, "convinced my father that he loved me more than anybody in this world."


Casablancas Was Constantly In The Company Of Women

parismatch_vintage
Image
Les plus belles photos des #archives de @ParisMatch_magazine - #1982 - #JohnCasablancas, PDG de l'agence #Elite regne depuis 24 ans sur un empire de 400 mannequins. Photo: Jean-Claude Sauer/#ParisMatch
[Google translate: The most beautiful photos of the #archives of @ParisMatch_magazine - # 1982 - #JohnCasablancas, CEO of the #Elite agency has reigned for 24 years over an empire of 400 models. Photo: Jean-Claude Sauer / # ParisMatch]


Casablancas, called "one of the creepiest people I have ever met" by one observer, was constantly surrounded by women, a circumstance of his own design. When he was at his agency, he would always make it a point to drop in and visit models during their interviews, talk to their mothers, and generally gawk at whatever beautiful women he could find. Casablancas had an uncanny ability to draw lines between the types of women in his life, however. He treated his models as though they were brainless dolls while acting as though the employees at his agency were nonsexual servants.

Casablancas was aware that his relationships with women could be misconstrued by the public. According to Casablancas, he "had friendships with these girls that are sometimes very flirtatious friendships... people imagine what they see is the public part of what goes on privately. It is not." His male friends saw it another way, suggesting that his need to be around women was "almost to the point of being ridiculous. He's insecure about being alone."

Casablancas Was Father, Admirer, And Mentor To New Talent

Elite Look Of The Year 1994 Ibiza... here’s your Canadian girl! John Casablanca and I being interviewed on stage after winning. The 90’s rocked! #elitelookoftheyear1994 #elite #johncasablancas #martineargent pic.twitter.com/Ti6hClAtBb

— Martine Argent (@MartineArgent) February 10, 2018


When young, fresh-faced girls came into Elite Models, Casablancas was always nearby. He would go in and out of the room where girls were interviewed, measured, and weighed, taking an interest in the girls deemed good enough for the agency. He made a point of making sure the girls felt admired and beautiful – manipulating them because it was good for business. For example, he called pop singer and model Jeanna Cie into his office one day and threatened to make her stand on the scale, telling her she disgusted him. Cie, anxious to please, promised him she could control her weight.

Casablancas Regretted Creating The Supermodel

crazy_fads
Image
#supermodel of #90s dressed in #versace for @voguemagazine
#cindycrawford #tatjanapatitz #helenachristensen #lindaevangelista #claudiaschiffer #naomicampbell #stephanieseymour #karenmulder #moderl #topmodel #top #beautiful#beauty#pic#picture#photo#blackandwhite #fashion #style


Despite allegations that he encouraged his models to do drugs and party and that he carried on numerous affairs with underaged girls, the one thing Casablancas regretted was creating the "supermodel." He explained his behavior, specifically his personal relationships, by stating it was the nature of his business – most people date within the workplace, so why shouldn't he? He defended himself, too, saying he never knowingly had sex with a girl under the age of 16.

Making a new category of models, however, was something he came to hate. According to Casablancas, "They can be impossible. Elite single-handedly brought modeling rates to a peak no one could have imagined, but the girls never thanked me for it. I’ve had enough."

After his passing, none of his supermodels — "Naomi or Heidi, Claudia or Cindy, or Christie Brinkley, Andie MacDowell, Gisele, and Iman" — made any statements.
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Re: Sex Predator Gérald Marie: Former models expose the ugly

Postby admin » Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:35 am

2 models who worked for Trump's controversial agency tell what it was like for them
by Sarah Jacobs
Business Insider
Feb 14, 2017, 7:15 AM

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image
A model presents a creation by Ukrainian designer Yuliya Polishchuk during Ukrainian Fashion Week in Kiev, Ukraine, October 12, 2016. Gleb Garanich/Reuters

• US President Donald Trump founded a modeling agency in 1999.
• Business Insider interviewed two former Trump models who spoke about their experiences working with the agency. They talked about business practices that included lying about their professions to customs agents. One of the two models said she was left in debt to the agency.
• Referring to the industry as a whole, one of the models told Business Insider: "There's quite a bit of exploitation of young girls going to America illegally and being overcharged for apartments and making very little money."

For fashion models around the world, making it to New York Fashion Week is a dream. That was the case for two young models from the Netherlands, whose Dutch agency coordinated with Trump Models to bring them to the US in the mid-2000s. They were 17 and 19 years old at the time and had never heard of Donald Trump.

One of the two models now says she's ashamed that her name was ever connected to his brand. Both women say the agency asked them to lie about their profession and to concoct stories to avoid alerting Customs and Border Protection agents to their intention to work in the US without authorization.

Their account of what it's like to work as a model in New York — including that they were not paid adequate wages and were housed in cramped, dorm-like apartments — could be said about much of the industry and do not apply only to foreign models. But President Trump has made an anti-immigration campaign an early hallmark of his presidency. He is focused on those who are working illegally in the US and foreign workers who could be displacing Americans. The women Business Insider spoke with fit both descriptions.

The two models spoke on condition of anonymity. One said she was trying to get a work visa, and the other did not want to use her name because she feared repercussions for speaking out. The details they gave matched those given by other models as reported by Mother Jones and CNN last August.

Trump Models did not respond to several requests for comment about the allegations.

Trump's foray into the modeling business

In 1999, Trump decided to extend his business empire into the world of fashion, opening the New York-based agency that bears his name. Trump had previously been married to professional model Ivana Trump, and he was dating then model Melania Knauss, whom he would marry, but this was Trump's first step into the business side of the industry.

Today, Trump Models represents more than 100 women, which, along with its main line of talent, includes a "development" line, which focuses on new talent, and a "legacy" line, which represents more experienced models. Trump Models' website says that the agency "is the brainstorm and vision of owner, Donald Trump."

Last May, when the Federal Election Commission released Trump's 104-page personal financial disclosure, it was revealed that Trump had generated a nearly $2 million dollar profit from the modeling agency, and Mother Jones reported that Trump owned an 85% stake in the company at the time. Before the inauguration, Trump announced that his business holdings would be placed in the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust; however, recent reports show that Trump is still closely tied to the trust and it is listed under his Social Security number for federal tax purposes.

In addition to the usual runway shows, advertising campaigns, editorial spreads, and Fashion Week bookings, Trump Models is closely tied to Trump's other endeavors. The agency and its models have worked with Trump's reality-TV show, "The Apprentice," starring in episodes that included fashion-based challenges. Mother Jones reported that some of the agency's models were discovered through Miss Universe and Miss USA competitions, which Trump purchased in 1996 and has since sold.

Coming to America, without a visa

One of the former Trump models told Business Insider that when she was 17 years old she was represented by a local modeling agency in the Netherlands and was looking for more work to build her portfolio. Her agency coordinated a work trip to New York where she would work with Trump Models. Along with two other models from the same agency, she planned to spend three weeks in the US. They did not have work visas, but they were chaperoned by someone who did.

Upon entering the country to work, without a visa she and the other model Business Insider spoke with were potentially violating immigration laws. Though they were still being paid by their Netherlands-based modeling agency, anyone working and receiving compensation for work done for any time in the US is required to have a work visa.

"I was 17 years old the first time I came [to New York] and one of the girls I was with was 14," one of the models said. "She was told to tell people she was 15 because they know that a lot of people would feel difficulty working with a 14-year-old."

Like many foreign models, her goal was to find a US-based modeling agency that would represent her and help her get a work visa so that she could legally come to the US for jobs. But finding an agency that does both is challenging.

She said their first trip to New York for Trump Models was positive overall. "The first experience was quite good," she said. "They arranged test shoots, got me one job, and a good editorial [shoot]. I was very happy."

The second model agreed: "They were professional like any other agency — everything seemed professional."

After the first model's visit, Trump Models still wasn't ready to help coordinate a work visa for her. The agency said she needed to work on her portfolio more and build her client list. Over the course of a year back home, she took jobs in Europe and Australia. The second trip to New York to work with Trump Models was initiated by the model herself, who was determined to build her portfolio and have the agency sponsor her work visa.

They gladly took her on, she said, but again didn't work out a visa before the trip.

According to accounts from both models, they were specifically instructed by Trump Model agents not to take their portfolio books with them on the plane, as doing so can be a red flag to customs agents. They said Trump Models gave them the address of a booker and told them to tell customs that they were visiting a friend at that address. Under no circumstances were they supposed to tell customs that they were models.

That — and the fact that she'd be going through customs without a chaperone or visa — made the first model freeze up, and she ultimately told customs that she was a model when asked about her occupation. It wasn't an issue, and she was let through.

"I was so nervous, I was sweaty, and I was red. I was so tense," she said.

On this second trip, she stayed at the "model apartments," where many would stay while in town on jobs.

"It's a box. It's tiny," she said. "There's a living room with an open kitchen ... a tiny bathroom, the bedrooms, and in each room there was two bunk beds."

Her plan was to stay for four weeks, but the bookers at Trump Models requested she stay another month once they saw that castings were going well. Homesick and ready to return to her boyfriend in the Netherlands, she stayed for only another two weeks.

Her third and final visit with Trump Models was for Fashion Week later that year. Arriving at a New York City airport right before Fashion Week can be risky for those coming into the city without a work visa. She and the agency strategically planned around this, she said. Her flights, coordinated by a booker at Trump Models, had her visit a friend a week previously "elsewhere in America" and then fly into New York for Fashion Week.

But Fashion Week "didn't go well," and between the cost of the flight and housing, she was in debt to the agency. Most important, her third visit confirmed what she had already thought: "I never believed that Trump Models believed in me, and their lack of effort getting me a visa is proof of that," she said.

Ultimately, her Netherlands-based agency broke off all ties with Trump Models, and she has since started working with another US-based agency that she says is working to get her a visa. The second model has left the fashion world altogether.

'American workers first'

Both models said their experiences with Trump Models are not that different from what they've seen at other agencies.

"It's regular fashion business s--- that you have to put up with. The experience I had with Trump Models ... wasn't different from experiences I've had with other places and other agencies," one said. "Agencies ... fabricate a very beautiful story, and tempt you with it — it works well when you’re younger."

According to the first model's account, the agencies pay for the flight up front, expecting the model to pay them back with jobs once she arrives. That, coupled with housing expenses, means that some models are just breaking even.

"They book you a job with quite a lot of money when you first arrive so you [can] pay back your flight and advance on the apartment," she said. "There's quite a bit of exploitation of young girls going to America illegally and being overcharged for apartments and making very little money."

In the past year, Trump Models has come under fire for the practices — in particular, the alleged visa violations — because of how the business contradicted candidate Trump's public statements on the issue.

One of his campaign pledges was to "establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first."

More recently, Bloomberg News obtained a draft executive order relating to work visas — the same kind that some modeling agencies would use — that says:

"Visa programs for foreign workers … should be administered in a manner that protects the civil rights of American workers and current lawful residents, and that prioritizes the protection of American workers — our forgotten working people — and the jobs they hold."

Backlash from other models

In August, Mother Jones cited three former Trump Models who said they had worked in the US without proper work visas. Former model Rachel Blais, who is now an advocate against unjust practices in the modeling industry, spoke out about her time at Trump Models, saying they are "the most crooked agency" she's ever worked for.

Model Maggie Rizer, who seems to have had a positive experience with her agent at Trump Models, publicly left the agency on the eve of election night.

She wrote in an Instagram post that "as a woman, a mother, an American and a human being, I cannot wake up Wednesday morning being the least bit related to the Trump brand; win or lose. I owe it to myself and to my children to proudly stand up for what I believe in and that is a world where Donald Trump has no voice for the future of our country."

On Monday, The Guardian reported that there's a budding backlash against Trump Models in the fashion industry — not unlike the consumer boycotts against Ivanka Trump's clothing and shoe line.

Today, the first model who shared her story with Business Insider says she feels ashamed of her involvement with the agency.

"It's embarrassing to say out loud, to say that I've worked for Trump Models," she said.

"Now, looking back knowing that I worked for Donald Trump ... it's really insane, it's really awful. It's bizarre working for someone that you now realize how completely opposite his ethics are of mine," she said. "I despise that, and it's bizarre to know I've made money for him."

If you are a model who was once represented by Trump Models and would like to share your story, please contact Sarah Jacobs at sjacobs@businessinsider.com.
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Re: Sex Predator Gérald Marie: Former models expose the ugly

Postby admin » Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:49 am

Former Models for Donald Trump’s Agency Say They Violated Immigration Rules and Worked Illegally: “It’s like modern-day slavery.”
by James West
Mother Jones
August 30, 2016

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President Donald Trump marked the 20th anniversary Friday of federal legislation to help combat human trafficking by dedicating a new White House position to the issue.

Surrounded by survivors, administration officials and members of Congress, Trump signed an executive order creating the position at the conclusion of a White House summit on human trafficking.

He declared his administration “100 percent committed to eradicating human trafficking from the earth,” and called the practice a form of “modern-day slavery.”


-- Trump signs order creating position focused on combating human trafficking, by pbs.org, Jan 30, 2020


Image
Pierre Roussel/ Zuma Press; Louis Lanzano/AP Photo

Republican nominee Donald Trump has placed immigration at the core of his presidential campaign. He has claimed that undocumented immigrants are “taking our jobs” and “taking our money,” pledged to deport them en masse, and vowed to build a wall on the Mexican border. At one point he demanded a ban on Muslims entering the country. Speaking to supporters in Iowa on Saturday, Trump said he would crack down on visitors to the United States who overstay their visas and declared that when any American citizen “loses their job to an illegal immigrant, the rights of that American citizen have been violated.” And he is scheduled to give a major address on immigration in Arizona on Wednesday night.

But the mogul’s New York modeling agency, Trump Model Management, has profited from using foreign models who came to the United States on tourist visas that did not permit them to work here, according to three former Trump models, all noncitizens, who shared their stories with Mother Jones. Financial and immigration records included in a recent lawsuit filed by a fourth former Trump model show that she, too, worked for Trump’s agency in the United States without a proper visa.

Foreigners who visit the United States as tourists are generally not permitted to engage in any sort of employment unless they obtain a special visa, a process that typically entails an employer applying for approval on behalf of a prospective employee. Employers risk fines and possible criminal charges for using undocumented labor.

Founded in 1999, Trump Model Management “has risen to the top of the fashion market,” boasts the Trump Organization’s website, and has a name “that symbolizes success.” According to a financial disclosure filed by his campaign in May, Donald Trump earned nearly $2 million from the company, in which he holds an 85 percent stake. Meanwhile, some former Trump models say they barely made any money working for the agency because of the high fees for rent and other expenses that were charged by the company.

Canadian-born Rachel Blais spent nearly three years working for Trump Model Management. After first signing with the agency in March 2004, she said, she performed a series of modeling gigs for Trump’s company in the United States without a work visa.
At Mother Jones‘ request, Blais provided a detailed financial statement from Trump Model Management and a letter from an immigration lawyer who, in the fall of 2004, eventually secured a visa that would permit her to work legally in the United States. These records show a six-month gap between when she began working in the United States and when she was granted a work visa. During that time, Blais appeared on Trump’s hit reality TV show, The Apprentice, modeling outfits designed by his business protégés. As Blais walked the runway, Donald Trump looked on from the front row.

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Former Trump model Rachel Blais appeared in a 2004 episode of Donald Trump’s hit NBC reality show, The Apprentice. Trump Model Management had yet to secure her work visa. NBC

Two other former Trump models—who requested anonymity to speak freely about their experiences, and who we are giving the pseudonyms Anna and Kate—said the agency never obtained work visas on their behalf, even as they performed modeling assignments in the United States. (They provided photographs from some of these jobs, and Mother Jones confirmed with the photographers or stylists that these shoots occurred in the United States.)

Each of the three former Trump models said she arrived in New York with dreams of making it big in one of the world’s most competitive fashion markets. But without work visas, they lived in constant fear of getting caught. “I was pretty on edge most of the time I was there,” Anna said of the three months in 2009 she spent in New York working for Trump’s agency.

“I was there illegally,” she said. “A sitting duck.”

According to three immigration lawyers consulted by Mother Jones, even unpaid employment is against the law for foreign nationals who do not have a work visa. “If the US company is benefiting from that person, that’s work,” explained Anastasia Tonello, global head of the US immigration team at Laura Devine Attorneys in New York. These rules for immigrants are in place to “protect them from being exploited,” she said. “That US company shouldn’t be making money off you.”

Two of the former Trump models said Trump’s agency encouraged them to deceive customs officials about why they were visiting the United States and told them to lie on customs forms about where they intended to live. Anna said she received a specific instruction from a Trump agency representative: “If they ask you any questions, you’re just here for meetings.”


Trump’s campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, declined to answer questions about Trump Model Management’s use of foreign labor. “That has nothing to do with me or the campaign,” she said, adding that she had referred Mother Jones‘ queries to Trump’s modeling agency. Mother Jones also sent detailed questions to Trump Model Management. The company did not respond to multiple emails and phone calls requesting comment.

“Honestly, they are the most crooked agency I’ve ever worked for, and I’ve worked for quite a few,” said Rachel Blais.


Fashion industry sources say that skirting immigration law in the manner that the three former Trump models described was once commonplace in the modeling world. In fact, Politico recently raised questions about the immigration status of Donald Trump’s current wife, Melania, during her days as a young model in New York in the 1990s. (In response to the Politico story, Melania Trump said she has “at all times been in compliance with the immigration laws of this country.”)

Kate, who worked for Trump Model Management in 2004, marveled at how her former boss has recently branded himself as an anti-illegal-immigration crusader on the campaign trail. “He doesn’t want to let anyone into the US anymore,” she said. “Meanwhile, behind everyone’s back, he’s bringing in all of these girls from all over the world and they’re working illegally.”

Now 31 years old and out of the modeling business, Blais once appeared in various publications, including Vogue, Elle, and Harpers Bazaar, and she posed wearing the designs of such fashion luminaries as Gianfranco Ferré, Dolce & Gabbana, and Jean Paul Gaultier. Her modeling career began when she was 16 and spanned numerous top-name agencies across four continents. She became a vocal advocate for models and appeared in a 2011 documentary, Girl Model, that explored the darker side of the industry. In a recent interview, she said her experience with Trump’s firm stood out: “Honestly, they are the most crooked agency I’ve ever worked for, and I’ve worked for quite a few.”


Clip from Girl Model (2011)
May 27, 2013


Image
Rachel Blais appeared in this Elle fashion spread, published in September 2004, while working for Trump’s agency without a proper visa. Elle

Freshly signed to Trump Model Management, the Montreal native traveled to New York City by bus in April 2004. Just like “the majority of models who are young, [have] never been to NYC, and don’t have papers, I was just put in Trump’s models’ apartment,” she said. Kate and Anna also said they had lived in this apartment.

“The apartment was like a sweatshop,” said a former Trump model.


Models’ apartments, as they’re known in the industry, are dormitory-style quarters where agencies pack their talent into bunks, in some cases charging the models sky-high rent and pocketing a profit. According to the three former models, Trump Model Management housed its models in a two-floor, three-bedroom apartment in the East Village, near Tompkins Square Park. Mother Jones is withholding the address of the building, which is known in the neighborhood for its model tenants, to protect the privacy of the current residents.

When Blais lived in the apartment, she recalled, a Trump agency representative who served as a chaperone had a bedroom to herself on the ground floor of the building. A narrow flight of stairs led down to the basement, where the models lived in two small bedrooms that were crammed with bunk beds—two in one room, three in the other. An additional mattress was located in a common area near the stairs. At times, the apartment could be occupied by 11 or more people.

“We’re herded into these small spaces,” Kate said. “The apartment was like a sweatshop.”

Trump Model Management recruited models as young as 14. “I was by far the oldest in the house at the ripe old age of 18,” Anna said. “The bathroom always smelled like burned hair. I will never forget the place!” She added, “I taught myself how to write, ‘Please clean up after yourself’ in Russian.”

A detailed financial statement provided by Blais shows that Trump’s agency charged her as much as $1,600 a month for a bunk in a room she shared with five others.


Living in the apartment during a sweltering New York summer, Kate picked a top bunk near a street-level window in the hopes of getting a little fresh air. She awoke one morning to something splashing her face. “Oh, maybe it’s raining today,” she recalled thinking. But when she peered out the window, “I saw the one-eyed monster pissing on me,” she said. “There was a bum pissing on my window, splashing me in my Trump Model bed.”

“Such a glamorous industry,” she said.

Blais, who previously discussed some of her experiences in an interview with Public Radio International, said the models weren’t in a position to complain about their living arrangements. “You’re young,” she remarked, “and you know that if you ask too many questions, you’re not going to get the work.”

A detailed financial statement provided by Blais shows that Trump’s agency charged her as much as $1,600 a month for a bunk in a room she shared with five others. Kate said she paid about $1,200 a month—”highway robbery,” she called it. For comparison, in the summer of 2004, an entire studio apartment nearby was advertised at $1,375 a month.

From April to October 2004, Blais traveled between the United States and Europe, picking up a string of high-profile fashion assignments for Trump Model Management and making a name for herself in the modeling world. During the months she spent living and working in New York, Blais said, she only had a tourist visa. “Most of the girls in the apartment that were not American didn’t have a work visa,” she recalled.


Anna and Kate also said they each worked for Trump’s agency while holding tourist visas. “I started out doing test-shoots but ended up doing a couple of lookbooks,” Anna said. (A lookbook is a modeling portfolio.) “Nothing huge, but definitely shoots that classified as ‘work.'”

Employers caught hiring noncitizens without proper visas can be fined up to $16,000 per employee and, in some cases, face up to six months in prison.

The three former Trump models said Trump’s agency was aware of the complications posed by their foreign status. Anna and Kate said the company coached them on how to circumvent immigration laws. Kate recalled being told, “When you’re stuck at immigration, say that you’re coming as a tourist. If they go through your luggage and they find your portfolio, tell them that you’re going there to look for an agent.”

Anna recalled that prior to her arrival, Trump agency staffers were “dodging around” her questions about her immigration status and how she could work legally in the United States. “Until finally,” she said, “it came to two days before I left, and they told me my only option was to get a tourist visa and we could work the rest out when I got there. We never sorted the rest out.”

Arriving in the United States, Anna grew terrified. “Going through customs for this trip was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life,” she added. “It’s hard enough when you’re there perfectly innocently, but when you know you’ve lied on what is essentially a federal document, it’s a whole new world.”

“Am I sweaty? Am I red? Am I giving this away?” Anna remembered thinking as she finally faced a customs officer. After making it through immigration, she burst into tears.

Industry experts say that violating immigration rules has been the status quo in the fashion world for years. “It’s been common, almost standard, for modeling agencies to encourage girls to come into the country illegally,” said Sara Ziff, the founder of the Model Alliance, an advocacy group that claimed a major success in 2014 after lobbying the New York State legislature to pass a bill increasing protections for child models.

Bringing models into the United States on tourist visas was “very common,” said Susan Scafidi, the director of Fordham University’s Fashion Law Institute. “I’ve had tons of agencies tell me this, that this used to happen all the time, and that the cover story might be something like ‘I’m coming in for a friend’s birthday,’ or ‘I’m coming in to visit my aunt,’ that sort of thing.”

Image
Read a letter from an immigration attorney confirming Rachel Blais’ eligibility to work in the US. Pierre Roussel/ZUMA

For their part, modeling agencies have complained about the time and resources required to bring a foreign model into the country and have insisted that US immigration laws are out of step with their fast-paced industry. “If there are girls that we can’t get into the United States, the client is going to take that business elsewhere,” Corinne Nicolas, the president of Trump Model Management, told the New York Daily News in 2008. “The market is calling for foreign girls.”

In 2007, a few years before his career imploded in a sexting scandal, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) sponsored a bill that would give models the same kind of work visas that international entertainers and athletes receive. The tabloids had a field day­—”Give me your torrid, your pure, your totally smokin’ foreign babes,” screamed a Daily News headline—and the effort ultimately failed.

Trump Model Management sponsored only its most successful models for work visas, the three former models said. Those who didn’t cut it were sent home, as was the case, Blais noted, with many of her roommates.

“It was very much the case of you earn your visa,” Anna said. “Essentially, if you got enough work and they liked you enough, they’d pay for a visa, but you weren’t about to see a dime before you could prove your worth.”


The company eventually secured an H-1B visa for Blais. Such visas allow US companies to employ workers in specialized fields. According to financial records provided by Blais, the company deducted the costs of obtaining a work visa from her earnings. (The agency did not obtain work visas for Anna and Kate, who each left the United States after their stints with Trump Model Management.)

H-1B visas have been increasingly popular in the high-tech field, and Trump’s companies, including Trump Model Management, have used this program extensively in the past. But on the campaign trail, Trump has railed against the H-1B program and those who he says abuse it. “I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program,” Trump said in March. “No exceptions.”

Nearly three years after signing with Trump’s agency, Blais had little to show for it—and it wasn’t for lack of modeling jobs. Under the contracts that she and other Trump models had signed, the company advanced money for rent and various other expenses (such as trainers, beauty treatments, travel, and administrative costs), deducting these charges from its clients’ modeling fees. But these charges—including the pricey rent that Blais and her roommates paid—consumed nearly all her modeling earnings. “I only got one check from Trump Models, and that’s when I left them,” she said. “I got $8,000 at most after having worked there for three years and having made tens of thousands of dollars.” (The check Blais received was for $8,427.35.)

“This is a system where they actually end up making money on the back of these foreign workers,” Blais added. She noted that models can end up in debt to their agencies, once rent and numerous other fees are extracted.

This is known in the industry as “agency debt.” Kate said her bookings never covered the cost of living in New York. After two months, she returned home. “I left indebted to them,” she said, “and I never went back, and I never paid them back.”


The experiences the former Trump models related to Mother Jones echo allegations in an ongoing class-action lawsuit against six major modeling agencies by nine former models who have claimed their agencies charged them exorbitant fees for rent and other expenses. One plaintiff, Marcelle Almonte, has alleged that her agency charged her $1,850 per month to live in a two-bedroom Miami Beach apartment with eight other models. The market rate for apartments in the same building ran no more than $3,300 per month, according to the complaint. (Trump Model Management, which was initially named in an earlier version of this lawsuit, was dropped from the case in 2013, after the judge narrowed the number of defendants.) Models “were largely trapped by these circumstances if they wanted to continue to pursue a career in modeling,” the complaint alleges.

Read Alexia Palmer’s complaint against Trump Model Management. Wavebreakmedia/iStock

“It is like modern-day slavery” Blais said of working for Trump Model Management—and she is not alone in describing her time with Trump’s company in those terms. Former Trump model Alexia Palmer, who filed a lawsuit against Trump Model Management for fraud and wage theft in 2014, has said she “felt like a slave.”

Palmer has alleged that she was forced to pay hefty—sometimes mysterious—fees to Trump’s agency. These were fees on top of the 20 percent commission she paid for each job the company booked. Palmer charged that during three years of modeling for Trump’s company, she earned only $3,880.75. A New York judge dismissed Palmer’s claim in March because, among other reasons, she had not taken her case first to the Department of Labor. Lawyers for Trump Model Management called Palmer’s lawsuit “frivolous” and “without merit.”

Palmer filed a complaint with the Department of Labor this spring, and in August the agency dismissed the case. Palmer’s lawyer, Naresh Gehi, said he is appealing the decision. Since he began representing Palmer, he said, fashion models who worked for other agencies have approached him with similar stories. “These are people that are coming out of the closet and explaining to the world how they are being exploited,” he said. “They are the most vulnerable.”

Documents filed in Palmer’s case indicate that she worked in the United States without a work visa after being recruited by Trump’s agency from her native Jamaica. Gehi declined to discuss his client’s immigration status.

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Former Trump model Alexia Palmer posed for this Teen Vogue shoot in January 2011. She secured a work visa in October 2011. Teen Vogue

A Caribbean model contest launched Palmer’s career in 2010, and at age 17 she signed an exclusive contract with Trump Model Management in January 2011. Department of Labor records show she received approval to work in the United States beginning in October 2011. Yet according to a financial statement filed as evidence in her case, Palmer started working in the United States nine months before this authorization was granted. Her financial records list a January 22, 2011, job for Condé Nast, when she posed for a Teen Vogue spread featuring the cast of Glee. (The shoot took place at Milk Studios in Los Angeles.)

“That whole period, from January to September, was not authorized,” said Pankaj Malik, a partner at New York-based Ballon, Stoll, Bader & Nadler who has worked on immigration issues for over two decades and who reviewed Palmer’s case for Mother Jones. “You can’t do any of that. It’s so not allowed.”

Trump has taken an active role at Trump Model Management from its founding. He has personally signed models who have participated in his Miss Universe and Miss USA competitions, where his agency staff appeared as judges. Melania Trump was a Trump model for a brief period after meeting her future husband in the late 1990s.

“I left with a bad taste in my mouth. I didn’t like the agency. I didn’t like where they had us living. Honestly, I felt ripped off.”


The agency is a particular point of pride for Trump, who has built his brand around glitz and glamour. “True Trumpologists know the model agency is only a tiny part of Trumpland financially,” the New York Sun wrote in 2004. “But his agency best evokes a big Trump theme—sex sells.” Trump has often cross-pollinated his other business ventures with fashion models and has used them as veritable set pieces when he rolls out new products. Trump models, including Blais, appeared on The Apprentice—and they flanked him at the 2004 launch of his Parker Brothers board game, TRUMP.

Part of Blais’ job, she said, was to serve as eye candy at Trump-branded events. Recalling the first time she met the mogul, she said, “I had to go to the Trump Vodka opening.” It was a glitzy 2006 gala at Trump Tower where Busta Rhymes performed, and Trump unveiled his (soon-to-be-defunct) line of vodka. “It was part of my duty to go and be seen and to be photographed and meet Donald Trump and shake his hand,” she remembered.

Trump made a strong impression on her that night. “I knew that I was a model and there was objectification in the job, but this was another level,” she said. Blais left Trump Model Management the year after the Trump Vodka gala, feeling that she had been exploited and shortchanged by the agency.

Kate, who went on to have a successful career with another agency, also parted ways with Trump’s company in disgust. “My overall experience was not a very good one,” she said. “I left with a bad taste in my mouth. I didn’t like the agency. I didn’t like where they had us living. Honestly, I felt ripped off.”


These days, Kate said, she believes that Trump has been fooling American voters with his anti-immigrant rhetoric, given that his own agency had engaged in the practices he has denounced. “He doesn’t like the face of a Mexican or a Muslim,” she said, “but because these [models] are beautiful girls, it’s okay? He’s such a hypocrite.”
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Re: Sex Predator Gérald Marie: Former models expose the ugly

Postby admin » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:43 pm

Teen Model Factory of Russia
by BBC
Nov 19, 2016

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Re: Sex Predator Gérald Marie: Former models expose the ugly

Postby admin » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:53 pm

Laurie Marsden Accuses Gerald Marie of sexual misconduct
by 7NEWS
Mar 1, 2021

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He was one of the most powerful men in the fashion industry, but former French modelling agent Gerald Marie is accused, by at least a dozen women, of sexual misconduct and in some cases rape.

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Re: Sex Predator Gérald Marie: Former models expose the ugly

Postby admin » Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:09 am

'What he was doing was in plain sight': more ex-models accuse Gérald Marie of sexual assault
Exclusive: Another seven women come forward with allegations about the former Elite boss
by Lucy Osborne
The Guardian
Fri 20 Nov 2020 09.00 EST

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Gérald Marie in 2004. Lawyers representing the former model agency boss previously said he was ‘extremely affected’ by the original accusations, which he firmly contests. Photograph: Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images

Seven more women have come forward to accuse the former model agency boss Gérald Marie of sexual misconduct, adding to mounting allegations that have drawn parallels with the disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Last month a Guardian investigation revealed that nine women had made sexual misconduct allegations against Marie, who for three decades was one of the most powerful men in the fashion industry.

All those allegations, which ranged from sexual harassment to rape, were firmly denied by Marie, who is now 70 and living in Spain.

Now seven more women have come forward to the Guardian to share new accounts of misconduct by Marie. One is Laurie Marsden, a former model who works as a psychotherapist in Brisbane, Australia. She said Marie sexually assaulted her in Paris when she was 19.

Marsden was working for Paris Planning, an agency Marie ran until 1986, when it merged with Elite. Marie then became the European president of Elite, one of the world’s premier model agencies, which in the 1990s represented several supermodels including Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford.

Marsden said she was at a house party in 1982 when Marie said he would make her a star. Later, he waited for her outside a bathroom and, when she came out, she alleges that he pushed her on to a bed in a neighbouring room.

“His full body weight was on me and he was holding me down,” she said. “He was touching me all over my body.”

As her skirt rode up, she said she told him to stop and said “no”, but he ignored her pleas. Marsden said she was only able to escape from what she describes as an attempted rape by twisting her body and using her feet to lever herself off the bed.


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Laurie Marsden. Photograph: Image provided by Laurie Marsden

The following Monday, according to Marsden, Marie cancelled the three jobs she had lined up with Elle magazine. She believes she was punished for resisting the sexual assault the previous week.

Another former top model, Lesa Amoore, alleged that Marie sexually assaulted and harassed her several times over a three-year period when she was working for Elite in the early 90s. On one occasion outside a club or restaurant in Paris, Amoore alleged he pushed her against a wall and grabbed her by the wrists. She had to “knee him” in the groin to escape, she said.

On another occasion, at his apartment, Amoore said Marie tried to kiss her and put his hand down her pants but she was able to push him off. Despite repeatedly making it clear she was not interested in him, Amoore said Marie would show up at her apartment late at night and demand she let him in, which she refused.

“Anyone around for any length of time saw Gerald was chasing models. I mean, he’d do so in front of other people,” said Amoore. “Models shared warnings, while bookers like mine tried to help us steer clear.”


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Lesa Amoore. Photograph: Allison Zaucha/For The Guardian

Emily Mott, a former model from New York, alleges she was sexually assaulted by Marie, in 1985 or 1986, after she was asked to help his then girlfriend, the supermodel Linda Evangelista, move into his apartment. Mott said when Evangelista was in another room, Marie “forced himself on me and tried to kiss me and tussle me on to a bed”. Mott, a varsity rower, said she was “thankful” she had “the strength to push him off”.

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Emily Mott modelling in 1985. Photograph: supplied by Emily Mott

There is no suggestion that Evangelista, who was later married to Marie between 1987 and 1993, was aware of this incident or any other allegation against her former husband until they were made public recently.

Evangelista told the Guardian last month she believed the women accusing her ex-husband, adding: “It breaks my heart because these are wounds that may never heal, and I admire their courage and strength.”

Criminal case and denials

Marie did not respond to multiple requests for comment about the accusations from his new accusers. He has strongly denied the previous set of accusations, which were said to have taken place between 1980 and 1998, and included six allegations of rape, including of a model who was 15 at the time.

Marie’s lawyers previously said he was “extremely affected” by the accusations, which he firmly contests. They said he would fight a French criminal case that was opened in September after prosecutors received allegations from four women: “He intends to actively participate in the manifestation of the truth within the scope of the opened criminal investigation.”

However, there is a growing sense that Marie’s case is shining a disturbing light on an era in fashion when abuse was tolerated and even enabled by some in the industry. “Men like Gérald Marie do not exist in a vacuum,” said the British former model Catherine Donaldson. “What he was doing was in plain sight.”

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Shh! Nobody cares.


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Gérald Marie during the Elite Model Look 2006 ceremony at the Ritz in Paris. Photograph: Foc Kan/WireImage

Donaldson said her experience with Marie was the basis of Couch, a short film she made recently. She alleges Marie sexually assaulted her on a sofa at his apartment before an agency dinner in 1985, when she was 19. She also alleges Marie aggressively grabbed her and tried to force himself on her but she was able to push him off.

Afterwards, at the dinner, she said he told her she was fat and insisted she return to the office every day until she lost weight. For two weeks, Marie would weigh her at “any given opportunity”, she said. “It was public humiliation.”


Donaldson recalled telling her London agent, Ziggi Golding, at the time about what had occurred with Marie. Golding confirmed that conversation with the Guardian. She said she chose not to affiliate her agency, Z, with Paris Planning because Marie’s reputation as a predator was “well-known”.

Serene Cicora, 57, another agent from the 80s and 90s, also recalled “a definite pattern” in the stories she was told about Marie, adding “dozens of models told me about his predatory behaviour”.

Cicora said the sheer number of accusers, combined with what many of them say about how Marie abused his power to coerce victims, threatening their careers if they refused sex, suggests he may be “the Harvey Weinstein of the fashion industry”.


Mounting allegations

In addition to accusations of sexual assault and rape, three other models told the Guardian that Marie sexually harassed them while they were employed by him. The British former model Karen Howarth said Marie tried to get her to sleep with him at his apartment before an agency dinner in spring 1985. When she rejected him, she said he called her “frigid” in front of colleagues and, days later, she was told he would no longer directly represent her.

Another former model, Jennifer Curran Peres, who is American, recounted sharing a limousine with Marie and others after an industry party. When they reached his stop, she recalled that he demanded she go to his apartment with him, which she repeatedly refused to do. Peres alleged Marie tried to physically pull her out of the vehicle by holding on to her arm. She said he stopped only when another passenger removed Marie’s hand from her.

A third former model, who is Canadian and wishes to remain anonymous, said while in St Tropez in 1986 for a shoot with Elle magazine she was pressured into sleeping in the same hotel room as Marie. After she refused, the shoot was cancelled.

After Marie and the Elite founder, John Casablancas, were at the helm of the prestigious modelling agency, the company went bankrupt and split in two. Both new corporate entities, Creative World Management and Elite World Group, have sought to distance themselves from alleged past abuses.

More recently, Marie has been involved in Oui Management, a prestigious Paris agency whose models front Louis Vuitton campaigns and appear on Vogue magazine covers. The company said Marie was not currently an employee but documents suggest he remains an investor with “significant control”.
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Re: Sex Predator Gérald Marie: Former models expose the ugly

Postby admin » Sat Jun 12, 2021 7:28 pm

The myth of ‘false accusations’ of sexual assault
by Margery Eagan
Boston Globe
October 15, 2018, 12:41 a.m.

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Women falsely accuse men of sex crimes. That’s why it’s a “very scary time for young men in America,” President Trump has said.

Women misidentify the men who attack them. So said Senators Joe Manchin, Lindsey Graham, and Susan Collins as they tried to have it both ways: claiming they believed Christine Blasey Ford was assaulted — but certainly not by Brett Kavanaugh, the man their votes put on the Supreme Court.


Before we normalize this confirmation, or move on to the next Trumpian crisis, or Trump gets another Supreme Court pick, it matters to understand: The above assertions are rarely true, despite politicians’ dishonest spin.

“I don’t think I ever had a case where I even suspected a woman was making a false accusation,” said former Suffolk County sheriff and prosecutor Andrea Cabral.

According to Suffolk County District Attorney John P. Pappas, the problem with sexual assaults is underreporting, “because victims fear they won’t be believed. The overwhelming majority of such allegations are grounded in truth.”


Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said, “There may be a variety of legal reasons our office cannot proceed with prosecution; that does not mean the allegation is false.”

False accusations do in fact happen, but again, rarely. Various studies estimate between 2 percent and 10 percent nationwide.

But since only rapes reported to police can be deemed false, some analysts put the number much lower and say that a “false” accusation may actually be a true one recanted because a survivor doesn’t want a trial.

As for the “mistaken identity” line? Trauma experts watched it “spread through the Senate this month with a sense of stunned dismay,” reported The Washington Post. You don’t mistake identity when you know the name and face of the man attacking you, Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Richard Huganir told the paper. He and his colleagues don’t even debate it.

When sexual assault victims do misidentify attackers, it almost always involves identifying strangers. And not only did Ford know Kavanaugh, so did his second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, who said a drunken Kavanaugh thrust his penis into her face.

Bottom line: There’s no epidemic of false charges or mistaken identities but, rather, of attacks on women. Just in the few days surrounding the Kavanaugh hearings, the Globe reported on a Harvard diving coach allegedly sending pictures of his penis to female athletes; a Salisbury man accused of raping and plotting to murder two teenage girls; an Acton man arrested for stabbing his girlfriend and killing his father when he tried to intervene; and an Allston man held for choking and attempting to rape a woman he dragged into a Brookline alley.

Yet somehow, Houdini-like, the president has turned all this on its head and made the victims here men like him: those accused by multiple women of sexual misdeeds. Nearly 90 percent of Republicans support Kavanaugh. Many conservative women do too.

And Donald Trump Jr., father of five, says he fears for his three sons.

Let’s hope his two daughters never know the reality millions of American women know too well.

Sometimes it begins when you’re still tiny, and a once-trusted adult touches where he shouldn’t. Sometimes it starts in middle school, when schoolyard boys snap your bra. Maybe in college some frat boy uses liquor as an excuse for grinding against you, or worse. Maybe your first boss stands over your computer and squeezes your shoulder, or worse. Coming home at night, you walk in the middle of the street, your jagged-edged keys between your fingers, a weapon, just in case. Maybe one night, you need one. But if you tell, will they turn it all on its head and accuse you for walking home alone after dark?

If all that sounds familiar to you, the story of Christine Blasey Ford probably sounded familiar as well. So too the raging, red-faced denials of Justice Brett Kavanaugh of the United States Supreme Court.

Margery Eagan is cohost of WGBH’s “Boston Public Radio.” Her column appears regularly in the Globe.

Correction: A previous version of this column misstated the number of Donald Trump Jr.’s sons and daughters.
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