Former Fashion Models Accuse Top Agent of Rape and Sexual Assault

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.

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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.


Source NY Times

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