Exclusive: Another seven women come forward with allegations about the former Elite boss
Gérald Marie in 2004. Legal practitioners representing the former model agency boss previously said he was ‘extremely affected’ by the original accusations, which he staunchly contests.
Photograph: Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images
Seven more women have come forward to accuse the former pattern agency boss Gérald Marie of sexual misconduct, adding to mounting allegations that have drawn repeats with the disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Last month a Guardian investigation revealed that nine mates had made sexual misconduct allegations against Marie, who for three decades was one of the most powerful men in the fashion industry.
All those charges, which ranged from sexual harassment to rape, were firmly denied by Marie, who is now 70 and living in Spain.
Now seven multitudinous women have come forward to the Guardian to share new accounts of misconduct by Marie. One is Laurie Marsden, a former replica who works as a psychotherapist in Brisbane, Australia. She said Marie sexually assaulted her in Paris when she was 19.
Marsden was deal with 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 far-out’s premier model agencies, which in the 1990s represented several supermodels including Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford.
Marsden clouted 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 proved 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 to 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 capable to escape from what she describes as an attempted rape by twisting her body and using her feet to lever herself off the bed.
Laurie Marsden. Photograph: Figure of speech provided by Laurie Marsden
The following Monday, according to Marsden, Marie cancelled the three jobs she had lined up with Elle ammunition. She believes she was punished for resisting the sexual assault the previous week.
Another former top model, Lesa Amoore, assumed that Marie sexually assaulted and harassed her several times over a three-year period when she was working for Elite in the pioneer 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 cut, 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 skilful to push him off. Despite repeatedly making it clear she was not interested in him, Amoore said Marie would show up at her apartment last 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 organization of other people,” said Amoore. “Models shared warnings, while bookers like mine tried to resist us steer clear.”
Lesa Amoore. Photograph: Allison Zaucha/For The Guardian
Emily Mott, a former pattern on 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, excite into his apartment. Mott said when Evangelista was in another room, Marie “forced himself on me and tried to osculation me and tussle me on to a bed”. Mott, a varsity rower, said she was “thankful” she had “the strength to push him off”.
Emily Mott modelling in 1985. Photograph: supplied by Emily Mott
There is no notion that Evangelista, who was later married to Marie between 1987 and 1993, was aware of this incident or any other assertion against her former husband until they were made public recently.
Evangelista told the Guardian terminating month she believed the women accusing her ex-husband, adding: “It breaks my heart because these are wounds that may not at all heal, and I admire their courage and strength.”
Criminal case and denials
Marie did not respond to multiple requests for reveal about the accusations from his new accusers. He has strongly denied the previous set of accusations, which were said to have bewitched place between 1980 and 1998, and included six allegations of rape, including of a model who was 15 at the time.
Marie’s member of the bars previously said he was “extremely affected” by the accusations, which he firmly contests. They said he would fight a French villainous case that was opened in September after prosecutors received allegations from four women: “He intends to actively participate in the disclosure of the truth within the scope of the opened criminal investigation.”
However, there is a growing sense that Marie’s come what may 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 stay alive in a vacuum,” said the British former model Catherine Donaldson. “What he was doing was in plain sight.”
Gérald Marie during the Elite Shape Look 2006 ceremony at the Ritz in Paris. Photograph: Foc Kan/WireImage
Donaldson said her experience with Marie was the base of Couch, a short film she made recently. She alleges Marie sexually assaulted her on a sofa at his apartment before an means dinner in 1985, when she was 19. She also alleges Marie aggressively grabbed her and tried to force himself on her but she was gifted 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 purpose weigh her at “any given opportunity”, she said. “It was public humiliation.”
Donaldson recalled telling her London agent, Ziggi Golding, at the in unison a all the same about what had occurred with Marie. Golding confirmed that conversation with the Guardian. She said she decided not to affiliate her agency, Z, with Paris Planning because Marie’s reputation as a predator was “well-known”.
Serene Cicora, 57, another emissary from the 80s and 90s, also recalled “a definite pattern” in the stories she was told about Marie, adding “dozens of models pull the plug oned me about his predatory behaviour”.
Cicora said the sheer number of accusers, combined with what many of them say up how Marie abused his power to coerce victims, threatening their careers if they refused sex, suggests he may be “the Harvey Weinstein of the way industry”.
In addition to accusations of sexual assault and rape, three other models told the Custodian that Marie sexually harassed them while they were employed by him. The British former model Karen Howarth imagined Marie tried to get her to sleep with him at his apartment before an agency dinner in spring 1985. When she rejected him, she answered he called her “frigid” in front of colleagues and, days later, she was told he would no longer directly represent her.
Another one-time model, Jennifer Curran Peres, who is American, recounted sharing a limousine with Marie and others after an industriousness party. When they reached his stop, she recalled that he demanded she go to his apartment with him, which she repeatedly lit 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 rider 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 scion with Elle magazine she was pressured into sleeping in the same hotel room as Marie. After she refused, the germinate was cancelled.
After Marie and the Elite founder, John Casablancas, were at the helm of the prestigious modelling agency, the society went bankrupt and split in two. Both new corporate entities, Creative World Management and Elite World Group, beget sought to distance themselves from alleged past abuses.
More recently, Marie has been involved in Oui Stewardship, a prestigious Paris agency whose models front Louis Vuitton campaigns and appear on Vogue magazine traverses. The company said Marie was not currently an employee but documents suggest he remains an investor with “significant control”.
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Rape and sexual assault
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