‘He needed to manage me fully’: the fashions who accuse Gérald Marie of sexual assault | Vogue

2020/10 17 06:10

In the spring of 1980, Wendy Walsh and her mom flew to Paris from their dwelling in a suburb of Toronto, Canada. Walsh was 17, a straight-A scholar who excelled at maths. She was additionally an aspiring mannequin whose blond, blue-eyed, girl-next-door look had already bought her seen; at a neighborhood hairdressing occasion, a few stylists from a Paris salon had supplied to ship her headshots to a number one mannequin company, Paris Planning. Letters and cellphone calls had been exchanged, and Walsh was invited to Paris.

On the company’s workplaces, Walsh and her mom, Ellen, have been launched to the charismatic 30-year-old boss, Gérald Marie. Marie supplied to take them to lunch. “So we went to a bit of out of doors bistro within the Place de la Madeleine, across the nook from the company,” says Walsh, talking on the cellphone from her dwelling in Los Angeles. “It was the primary time I ever had a croque monsieur, and he was explaining what it was. I realise now it’s a elaborate grilled cheese sandwich. And I bear in mind distinctly him fawning over my mom, and this was shocking to me. She had been an especially lovely lady in her youth, however lupus had left scars on her face.

“He reached over and was stroking her hand, and one thing in my 17-year-old abdomen was like, that is bizarre.” Later, of their resort room, Walsh remembers her mom saying: “‘Oh, that man is gorgeous, he’s going to handle you.’ I look again on it with grownup eyes, and I imagine that is the way in which that he groomed households. He lured women in by convincing them that by some means he can be this very secure guardian of their teenage daughter.”

Two months later, in June 1980, Walsh moved to Paris. “I used to be younger, I used to be naive, and I had stars in my eyes,” she says now. “I used to be not scared one little bit, as a result of I trusted all of the adults who have been going to handle me and make me a well-known mannequin.”

Wendy Walsh, now 58, at home in Los Angeles.



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

Walsh, who’s now 58 and a revered US radio host, was one in every of dozens of hopefuls from throughout North America and Europe who made the journey to Paris in the summertime of 1980. Over the next a long time, hundreds of younger ladies went to work for Marie and different companies there, determined to make it as a mannequin. However few grew to become stars, and plenty of weren’t taken care of in the way in which Walsh’s mom would have anticipated.

Inside weeks of arriving in Paris, Walsh says, she was raped by Gérald Marie. A Guardian particular investigation has discovered that she is one in every of eight ladies who allege they have been sexually assaulted by Marie between 1980 and 1998. 4 are talking for the primary time.

Final month, French prosecutors introduced that that they had opened an investigation into Marie, after a felony criticism from 4 ladies: three former fashions, who’ve taken half on this investigation, and Lisa Brinkworth, a journalist who says she was sexually assaulted whereas working undercover for the BBC. Marie, who at 70 nonetheless works within the modelling trade, denies the allegations. In an announcement to the Sunday Occasions in regards to the French investigation, he mentioned: “It could not be acceptable for me to remark right now on the allegations of historic wrongdoing being made towards me, aside from to make it clear that I categorically deny them.”

By the point Wendy Walsh got here to Paris in 1980, Marie had been at Paris Planning for 5 years, reportedly after a quick stint working as a dancer on native tv. The son of a hospital administrator, he shortly earned a status as one of the highly effective and well-connected brokers in Europe, a person who might make a mannequin’s profession with the clicking of a finger or a name to Vogue. In 1986, Paris Planning merged with Elite Mannequin Administration, the company later credited with inventing the supermodel, and Marie grew to become its European president. He ran the company alongside Elite founder John Casablancas, who was primarily based in New York; collectively, they helped launch the careers of Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen and others.

However behind the gloss and glamour of the 90s style world, Marie had established a status as a predator. Numerous former fashions and trade insiders have informed the Guardian his abusive behaviour was “an open secret”, and a part of an ingrained tradition of exploitation on the coronary heart of the modelling world.


In Paris, Walsh was assigned to Paris Planning’s new-faces division, and despatched to “go-sees” with potential shoppers. Within the evenings, the now 18-year-old was informed to go to events that may assist her profession. “It could be wealthy outdated playboys in very glamorous flats with massive bowls of cocaine. All people drunk. There was no enterprise being accomplished, no photographers there,” she says.

Round six weeks in, Walsh was informed by a feminine booker that Marie needed her to dye her hair brown, and she or he was despatched to a hairdresser. That night, she was invited to a celebration at which Marie can be current. “The one occasions I’d seen him had been within the company, holding courtroom,” Walsh says. On the celebration, in a tiny residence, she discovered Marie sitting on a mattress. “He mentioned, ‘Come right here’, and he put his hand by my hair, and he mentioned, ‘That is good, that is what I like.’ And I assumed he was my boss, telling me I used to be going to get a variety of work now.”

The subsequent day, on the company’s workplaces, Walsh was informed that Marie needed to fulfill her once more, this time at his residence. “With the sensible eyes of a grownup, enterprise conferences don’t happen at flats at 9 o’clock at night time,” she says. “However if you’re 18 and believing all of the adults round you, you simply do what you’re informed. So I went.

“In Paris, you hit the sunshine change on the backside of the darkish stairway, you then work your method up. I stood outdoors his door, and I knocked and knocked till the lights went out after three minutes, and I used to be scrambling round on the lookout for a change. I waited one other three minutes, after which walked all the way in which dwelling.”

Again at her residence, the cellphone rang. It was her booker, telling her that Marie had been busy and that she ought to return: he was ready. By then it was 10pm, and Walsh had no cash for a cab. “And so once more, I stroll and stroll for 20 minutes by Paris at night time.”

Wendy Walsh in 1986.



Wendy Walsh in 1986. Photograph: courtesy of Wendy Walsh

Walsh knocked on Marie’s door. This time a younger mannequin got here out, smiling and guffawing. “She kissed him on each cheeks, mentioned goodbye. So then I went in, and he mentioned, ‘Oh, that lady, she’s one in every of our fashions, and she or he’s having so many issues together with her boyfriend. They at all times come to me about their boyfriend issues.’”

Marie poured her a glass of champagne and supplied her hors d’oeuvres. He informed Walsh that he had heard she was Catholic, and that he was, too. “It was like, what was going to occur was OK, as a result of he was a trusted individual in my membership or tribe.” Then, inside minutes, “his hand was down my shirt, and he was saying to me, ‘You’re the solely mannequin within the company with giant breasts – I find it irresistible.’ All I used to be considering was, ‘If I make this man offended, I’ll by no means get work once more.’”

Walsh tried to make excuses, telling Marie she wasn’t on the tablet, and bargaining with him, like “a candy, younger, naive lady who’s afraid of individuals of energy, who tries to say no, however doesn’t understand how”. She alleges that he took off her garments and anally raped her. “It damage and I bear in mind one factor distinctly: I buried my face within the pillow and mentioned, ‘No’. It smelled of someone else’s fragrance.”

Afterwards, Walsh says, Marie grabbed a bunch of bananas from his kitchen, handed her one and requested if her roommate was “the opposite Canadian” (Walsh was sharing with one other younger mannequin from Toronto). When she mentioned sure, he laughed and requested her to offer the lady a banana from him, she recollects. She arrived at her residence, and requested her roommate if she had additionally had intercourse with Marie. “That was the one language I had for it then,” she says. Her roommate mentioned sure. The subsequent time Walsh noticed Marie, he was on the company with a male buddy. “He was pointing to me and laughing,” she says. “It was probably the most humiliating second.”

Walsh believes that a part of the rationale Marie was capable of abuse new fashions like her was the language barrier. “I didn’t meet one French mannequin whereas I used to be there. We have been chosen particularly as a result of we didn’t perceive the language, can be away from dwelling, and didn’t know what the hell was occurring. He had full management.”

Quickly after the alleged rape, Walsh was invited to accompany her booker on a glamorous-sounding journey to Monte Carlo. However she had already been suggested towards travelling to the south of France by a extra profitable mannequin, over tea within the twentysomething’s courtyard backyard. The older mannequin warned that this was a world of rich males and their boats, and that unsuspecting fashions might find yourself being exploited. “Dangerous issues occur there,” she was informed.


Jsick Dodd by no means bought the warning in regards to the “unhealthy issues” that would occur within the south of France. Marie had invited the 19-year-old swim teacher to maneuver to Paris after assembly her in her hometown of Los Angeles on a talent-spotting journey. Her Californian agent informed her it was an ideal alternative.

Jill Dodd in Paris in 1980.



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” arrange by Paris Planning. However after a number of weeks, she began to rack up money owed to the company, who weren’t solely charging her charges, but in addition billing her for a dingy resort and her flight from California. After one lengthy day of rejections, Dodd recollects crying on a road nook because it bought darkish, feeling exhausted.

On 23 April 1980, Marie requested Dodd, then 20, and her roommate out dancing. She felt hopeful: time spent together with her boss could possibly be good for her profession. She had seen Marie ship the women he appreciated “straight to Vogue with out even an interview”. On the membership, she recollects dancing awkwardly, watching her boss in his black leather-based jacket. He was a assured dancer and she or he thought he regarded horny – a distinct individual from the “moody” supervisor she’d encountered on the workplace. Within the early hours, Dodd and her roommate went again to Marie’s residence. When her buddy left, she stayed on. Dodd says Marie kissed her and she or he remembers relishing the eye. “I’d solely had one critical boyfriend at the moment.” When Marie supplied to run her a bubble bathtub in his marble tub, she agreed, and afterwards joined him in his bed room to observe a John Wayne movie. However “abruptly”, she says, Marie raped her. “It occurred so quick,” she says. She shouted, “Cease”, however he didn’t.

Within the days that adopted, Marie informed Dodd he needed to be her boyfriend, and scribbled her a word (seen by the Guardian) saying: “I would like you to behave after I’m away… don’t overlook! Love, Gérald”. “I used to be so immature, and regardless that it was rape, I used to be confused,” she says now. “I used to be like, ‘Oh, he does like me! He’s so highly effective.’”

Quickly afterwards, Dodd says, she found that Marie had tried to have intercourse together with her roommate; the previous roommate, who spoke to the Guardian on situation of anonymity, confirms this. She added that, months later, Marie tried once more. This time, she alleges, he tricked her into being alone in a room with him; she felt the one method out was to carry out oral intercourse. “This man had management of your life. So that you make him assume you’re having fun with it – you then get the hell out.”

The billionaire Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi in 1996.



The billionaire Saudi arms vendor Adnan Khashoggi in 1996. Photograph: Getty Photographs

When Dodd was invited to Monte Carlo that summer season, she jumped on the alternative to take a break from go-sees. On her first night time, she went to a celebration the place she was launched by her Paris Planning booker to Adnan Khashoggi, the Saudi billionaire arms vendor, then mentioned to be the richest man on the earth. The next day, Dodd says, she and the booker have been invited to remain the night time on his yacht, and supplied their choose from a closet filled with couture robes for the night. That was the beginning of a “relationship” between Dodd and Khashoggi: “I used to be principally one in every of his harem wives for nearly two years,” she says now.

Nevertheless it was a extra transactional relationship than she knew. “It wasn’t till the tip of our relationship that I came upon that he had paid to fulfill me,” Dodd says. “I used to be chosen out of a bunch of images by Adnan.” She says she realised this when one in every of Khashoggi’s assistants got here into their resort room one night with a portfolio of images of ladies. She says the assistant brazenly went by the pictures, asking whom he wish to meet, and discussing charges between $35,00zero and $50,00zero. She says Khashoggi, who died in 2017, later admitted that he had paid Paris Planning to be launched to her. “It was all a entrance. 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 putting blue-green eyes, excessive cheekbones and thick eyebrows; she was typically likened to Brooke Shields. She had simply turned 18, and was new to the world of style. “I used to be the jock, at all times sporty. I’d by no means even worn mascara earlier than,” she tells me now. She says Marie showered her with compliments and made her really feel “1,000,000 ”. He invited her to Paris and promised to get her work right away. Maguire signed as much as Paris Planning, and on 31 January 1980 moved into Marie’s spare room: she is one in every of a number of former fashions the Guardian has spoken to who have been put up in his residence. (Whereas Maguire, Walsh and Dodd all labored for Paris Planning in 1980, they’ve by no means met or heard one another’s tales.)

Ann Maguire in 1985.

Ann Maguire in 1985. Photograph: Robert Christian

Maguire, now 60, has determined to talk for the primary time about what occurred subsequent. Initially, she says, Marie was charming. “He would play nice music and repair nice meals, all this type of stuff… Then, because it grew right into a friendship, he proceeded to abuse that.” She alleges she was raped a number of occasions by Marie whereas residing in his residence, and that at night time he would ignore her pleas for him to cease and “crawl into mattress with me”. She remembers him “flaunting” different fashions he was romantically concerned with, kissing them in entrance of her, or joking that their toothbrush was in his toilet. In her pocket book on the time, which she nonetheless has, she scribbled: “Battle with Gérald” and “Too fats!”

Ultimately, Maguire snapped. “I mentioned, ‘Screw you, I’m going to get my very own residence.’” However after shifting into an residence with different fashions, she says her work stopped. She started busking together with her guitar, and someday returned dwelling to discover a word from Paris Planning telling her she might now not stay there. She says all her footwear and her passport have been lacking, which she believes Marie took: “He needed to manage me fully.” She started sleeping on a bench in entrance of the Louvre.

A booker on the company organized for her to stick with one other man, who she says additionally sexually abused her. Maguire needs now that she had reported the assaults to the police, however didn’t think about it on the time “as a result of I used to be afraid of not working once more”. She explains: “I assumed they’d chuckle at me. ‘You’re residing in his home, what do you count on?’ I additionally didn’t communicate French properly sufficient to clarify.”

On one in every of a number of cellphone calls with me, Maguire breaks down in tears; she tells me it’s a time of her life she would fairly overlook. She returned dwelling to Virginia and didn’t mannequin once more for a minimum of one other 12 months.


Another former mannequin, 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 creator, she continues to be fearful of him, 40 years on. One night in the summertime of 1981, when she was turning 22, she was phoned by a booker at Paris Planning to say she needed to attend a dinner with Marie straight away. “I actually didn’t wish to go,” she recollects. “However I felt coerced into it [by the booker].” Dodd and Walsh say the identical lady organized their night conferences with Marie, and despatched them to events they didn’t wish to go to.

EJ Moran in 1981.



EJ Moran in 1981. Photograph: courtesy of EJ Moran

The booker “disappeared abruptly proper after dinner”, Moran recollects, and Marie persuaded her to go as much as his residence, which was throughout the road, so he might present her promotional movies for the company’s most well-known fashions. “VCRs have been a brand new factor within the 80s,” she explains. Moran remembers she was carrying “lavender-coloured pumps, a white shirt and a forest-green sweater”, in addition to “mother denims”. All of a sudden, she says, Marie raped her. “Earlier than I do know it, I used to be thrown on the mattress. He took his open palm and smashed my face into the mattress.” He verbally abused her, in what she describes as “a horrible low voice”.

Afterwards, Moran says, the “debonair and charming” Marie returned, asking her to remain the night time. She made an excuse about needing to alter her contact lenses; she was scared that if she wasn’t well mannered, he would damage her once more. Within the following days, she obtained a name from the booker telling her she had a well-paid catalogue job in Belgium and wanted to get on a practice. Moran says now that she believes this was “a message”: that for those who “play this sport and keep quiet, you’ll get all this work”. Different ladies who informed the Guardian they have been sexually assaulted by Marie bear in mind being supplied profitable jobs within the days that adopted.


Ten years later, by 1991, the modelling trade had hit its golden years, and Marie was firmly at its helm. The unique supermodels, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford, had signed with Elite Mannequin Administration, then run by Marie alongside Elite US president John Casablancas. Elite had workplaces around the globe, from Tokyo to London; Marie now reportedly owned houses in Manhattan, Saint-Tropez, Ibiza and Paris. He had additionally been married to Evangelista for greater than 4 years, telling an interviewer that he had left his earlier girlfriend, American mannequin Christine Bolster, “throughout the hour” of assembly Evangelista.

In 1991, the couple have been among the many superstar company on the ultimate of Look of the Yr, Elite’s annual worldwide modelling contest, in New York. Evangelista wore her hair in a putting pink bob with a heavy fringe, and towered over Marie, who wore a black go well with and tie, his hair slicked again. Evangelista joined Naomi Campbell to current a prize, whereas Marie sat with fellow judges Casablancas and Donald Trump within the viewers.

Shawna Lee, then 15, in Paris in 1992.



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 Yr finalist the next 12 months. Within the weeks main as much as the 1992 contest, she was despatched by Elite to Paris from her hometown outdoors Toronto to construct up her portfolio. She had already visited within the spring, staying in Marie and Evangelista’s flat whereas they have been on vacation. “She was my idol,” Lee says now. “I used to be strolling round her residence and seeing these shoots she’d accomplished with [Vogue photographer] Peter Lindbergh, so it was clearly fairly thrilling.” This time, she was put up in an residence with different fashions; however after a night out on the nightclub Les Bains Douches, Lee ended up again at Marie’s residence the place, she says, he raped her – an allegation revealed as a part of a Guardian investigation into Look of the Yr in March. Talking extra just lately from her dwelling in Toronto, the place she works as a make-up artist, Lee provides: “What’s grossest is him asking me to place Linda’s T-shirt on to sleep in, then pouncing on me.”

Evangelista divorced Marie in 1993, after separating from him the 12 months earlier than. Talking completely to the Guardian, she mentioned: “Throughout my relationship with Gérald Marie, I knew nothing of those sexual allegations towards him, so I used to be unable to assist these ladies. Listening to them now, and primarily based alone experiences, I imagine that they’re telling the reality. It breaks my coronary heart, as a result of these are wounds which will by no means heal, and I like their braveness and power for talking up at present.”

On the time, Lee confided in a fellow mannequin, and this bought again to Marie. She says he took her into his workplace and berated her for “going round saying I raped you”, suggesting her profession can be on the road. She says he informed her: “What else are you going to do? Return dwelling and flip burgers?” Different workers on the company came upon: “It was simply understood that it was in my greatest pursuits to brush it below the rug.”

No less than 5 ladies the Guardian spoke to say they skilled sexual misconduct from different males who labored with or for Marie. Lee says that after Marie raped her, a Paris Elite scout and buddy of Marie informed her that the 2 males had been competing over “who was going to get your virginity”. She says the scout was “form of mad that he [Marie] bought it first.”

Lee, then 15, went on to have a sexual relationship with the scout, which on the time she thought was consensual. As an grownup, she’s not so positive: “It was positively an abuse of energy.” The Guardian has spoken to 2 different former Elite fashions, then 15 and 17, who allege they have been sexually assaulted by the identical scout, and one, then 19, who says he raped her.

Swedish model Ebba Karlsson.



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

Swedish mannequin Ebba Karlsson, who was 20 in 1990, alleges she was raped that 12 months by a distinct Elite scout, and that, days later, she was launched to Marie. Karlsson says that when she arrived at his workplace, the very first thing he did was decrease the blinds. “There was a window between his workplace and different folks within the company,” she explains. She says Marie then took her by the portfolios of well-known fashions he represented and requested her if she knew what they did to grow to be profitable. Then, she says, “All of a sudden, his hand was inside my vagina. It was so fast and abrupt, I completely froze.” After the assembly, she sat down on the “first obtainable bench” and cried, feeling “ashamed and in shock”.

On one other event, Karlsson agreed to go to a “casting” at Marie’s residence. He had informed her she had a variety of movie potential as a result of she spoke a number of languages. The opposite fashions there regarded youthful than her, she says, maybe 16 or 17, and a few have been residing in his residence. “Some have been sick, that they had colds or one thing, and didn’t look nice.” She and the others have been informed to take off their garments, don excessive heels, then stroll and pose for Marie and two different males. “They needed to see our boobs. And I don’t know if that was the widespread follow, however it was like a meat market. It was horrible.”

A film by no means materialised, and Karlsson went again to Sweden as quickly as she was in a position, returning to her job on the Physique Store. “Marie took my energy away,” Karlsson says now. “I used to be highly effective earlier than, I might shield myself. However after that, I used to be only a shaking leaf.”


In 2011, the supermodel Carré Otis revealed a memoir, Magnificence, Disrupted, which included claims that she was repeatedly raped by Marie when she was 17. In an interview with the Guardian, Otis says it began round 1986, the 12 months Paris Planning merged with Elite. She was staying in Marie and Evangelista’s residence; it was the early days of his relationship with the supermodel. “Linda was possibly a bit of bit older than me,” Otis recollects. “She was hovering, she was already a star within the sky.” However when Evangelista was out of city, “he attacked me in the midst of the night time”, she says. “I used to be sick and I had a fever. That was the start of many such assaults.”

Otis went on to grow to be an enormously profitable mannequin, and was married to the actor Mickey Rourke, her co-star within the 1989 movie Wild Orchid. However within the mid-1980s, like the opposite ladies interviewed for this investigation, she was nonetheless pounding the pavements on the lookout for work. In her e-book, Otis writes that Marie informed her she wanted to drop extra weight, giving her “a small brown glass vial of cocaine day by day… this was the important thing to mannequin weight administration”. She says now: “It was made very clear that, if I needed to make it, I must take care of his advances. That continued till I really did say no, after which my work stopped.” Otis is without doubt one of the 4 ladies whose complaints triggered the French investigation, together with Karlsson, Dodd and journalist Lisa Brinkworth.

Model and actor Carré Otis.



Mannequin and actor Carré Otis. Photograph: Getty Photographs

Otis says she was additionally abused by others related to Marie or his company. She alleges she was raped in her resort room by a hairdresser on a shoot organized by Elite. She believes that Marie and different Elite brokers have been getting cash by sending fashions on journeys the place there was “no precise work”, or to events with rich males who had no connection to the trade. “I used to be positively pimped out,” she says. For Dodd – who says she was sexually assaulted at a celebration she was despatched to by Paris Planning, and by one other man on a shoot organized by the company – this was “out within the open” in 1980. “There have been all these affords of, ‘When you go on this journey, you need to sleep with the photographer,’” she says. “It was talked about out loud.”

It was simply such a visit – to Monte Carlo – that Wendy Walsh had refused to make, again in the summertime of 1980. As an alternative, the 18-year-old Canadian wrote to her mother and father from Paris, a letter they saved and which she now has. Studying it now, her disillusionment is obvious: “I refuse to hold round of their social circles, and act like a prostitute to get work,” she wrote in what Walsh describes as her “swirly, little-girl handwriting”. “Sadly, as a lot as I want it weren’t so, I’ve found that this enterprise operates on a completely social degree. When you don’t cooperate, you get stepped on.”


Marie Anderson, who labored for Elite between 1983 and 1990, says that to grasp how Marie was capable of get away together with his alleged behaviour, one has to understand the “full management” mannequin companies had throughout this period. “It was like a cult mentality,” she says. Anderson, who labored for Elite Chicago, first as a booker and later as vice-president, says she remembers a minimum of six completely different fashions telling her that Marie had been sexually inappropriate with them, however they swore her to secrecy, “terrified” that they’d cease getting work in the event that they complained.

She recollects overhearing Trudi Tapscott, an govt at Elite in New York from 1984 to 1991, and one other agent, tearfully pleading with Marie and Casablancas to cease sleeping with underage fashions, a while within the late 80s. Anderson says she might solely warn others towards working in Paris: “I want I might have accomplished extra.”

Tapscott, who continues to be a mannequin scout, started working for Elite on the age of 23. She says: “I used to be solely a bit of bit older than the fashions, and likewise taken in by the glamour. We didn’t have the language then to know that this was improper, and even when we did, who would we report it to? We have been like a household and there was no HR division; this was the tradition that protected these males. I’ve super remorse about not doing extra on the time.”

Gérald Marie with Elite Model Look contestants in Nice in 2001.



Gérald Marie with Elite Mannequin Look contestants in Good in 2001. Photograph: Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Photographs

A lot of the fashions who spoke to the Guardian didn’t inform their brokers about their alleged abuse, for concern it might get again to Marie. Walsh talks when it comes to “psychological shackles”. “I used to be trapped by the truth that they’d gotten me into debt straight away,” she says. “And you then had your mother and father at dwelling with stars of their eyes going, ‘Ship us footage, honey, inform us the way it’s going, we wish to inform all people about our well-known little lady!’ And also you simply didn’t wish to let down your mother and father. You didn’t wish to be a failure. What a horrible catch-22 to place a teen in.”

In 1999, it regarded 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 Mannequin Look (the brand new title for Look of the Yr), in addition to providing an undercover journalist cash for intercourse. Within the wake of the allegations, he was suspended from Elite; in an interview on the time, he mentioned: “I’m destroyed… I’m completed.”

However Elite launched a libel motion towards the BBC, arguing that the report was “dishonestly edited”; the company efficiently made the case that Marie had been arrange by the crew. The case was settled, the BBC apologised and conceded that its portrayal was unfair. The movie disappeared and Marie was reinstated, persevering with to run Elite Mannequin Search for many extra years.

After years of monetary mismanagement, Elite was pressured into chapter 11 in 2004, splitting into two separate companies, owned by completely different company entities, which nonetheless function at present. Marie is believed to have continued working with the New York division of Elite, Artistic World Administration, till as just lately as 2011. The corporate declined to remark, however a spokesperson informed the Guardian in March that it condemns the sorts of “deplorable behaviour” alleged to have taken place at Elite prior to now.

In the meantime, a spokesperson for Elite World Group mentioned: “We discover these alleged felony acts egregious and abhorrent. Gérald Marie’s contract with Elite Mannequin Administration led to December 2010, and the corporate was offered in 2011 to its present homeowners Elite World Group, for whom Marie has by no means labored. Elite World Group is dedicated to offering a secure atmosphere for our fashions, and doesn’t tolerate any type of abuse, harassment, discrimination and/or gender bias.”

In 2012, Marie joined Oui Administration, a prestigious Paris company whose fashions entrance Louis Vuitton campaigns and Vogue journal covers. He stays an investor in Oui, which is registered within the UK: firm paperwork filed in August this 12 months state that Marie continues to be a “individual with vital management” over Oui Administration Ltd.

Marie with his then wife, Linda Evangelista, at the 1991 Elite Look of the Year contest in New York.



Marie together with his then spouse, Linda Evangelista, on the 1991 Elite Look of the Yr contest in New York. Photograph: Ron Galella/Getty Photographs

Though Marie has claimed he’s retired, trade insiders who work with Oui Administration say that till just lately he had a “hands-on” position. One supply has proven the Guardian emails that point out Marie was accompanying fashions on castings with photographers as just lately as final 12 months. Marie’s LinkedIn web page, which he just lately deleted, had listed his tasks on the “thriving newcomer” company as scouting for and managing expertise. Oui Administration has informed the Guardian that Marie is just not at the moment an worker.

Now married to a Russian mannequin, Marie splits his time between Paris and his dwelling in Ibiza, which in keeping with a neighborhood paper has “the perfect French wine cellar on the island”. Responding to the brand new allegations put to him by the Guardian, his legal professionals mentioned that he was “extraordinarily affected by the accusations made towards him, which he contests with the utmost firmness… He intends to actively take part within the manifestation of the reality throughout the scope of the opened felony investigation.”

Is the predatory tradition of the modelling trade within the 1980s and 1990s a factor of the previous? Each Anderson and Tapscott say that there’s nonetheless a strain to “keep silent” – one which applies to brokers, too. Anderson says: “I can’t get a job within the modelling enterprise any extra, as a result of I’ve been ostracised for speaking out about these things.” She provides that it “speaks volumes” that Marie continues to be concerned with an company at present. “It’s residing proof that the cult-like mentality nonetheless exists, and the code of silence stays.”

In the meantime, the eight ladies who spoke to the Guardian say that, even 30 to 40 years after their alleged abuse, the impression on their lives has been lasting. Walsh, Dodd, Lee and Otis all battled consuming issues consequently, and several other accusers went on to expertise issues with alcohol or medicine.

Otis left Paris in 1987, shifting to a farm in northern California for a number of months to get as “far-off from [modelling] as doable”. However when her cash began to expire, she approached a small company in San Francisco and bought a couple of jobs. “It felt secure and secure and regular,” she says. “You knew you have been going to get off at 5.” From there, her profession took off. In 1988, she did an American Vogue cowl shoot with Evangelista, the primary ever to function two fashions, wherein they posed collectively on a Greek seashore in matching jumpers and black caps, smiling and laughing. (There is no such thing as a suggestion that Evangelista was conscious of the allegations towards her husband on the time.) In 1991, Otis grew to become the face of Calvin Klein and joined Evangelista as one of many world’s most recognisable fashions; not like many different ladies the Guardian has spoken to for this investigation, she discovered success with out Gérald Marie.

Dodd, who’s now 60, grew to become a profitable businesswoman (she is the founding father of the surf model Roxy) and lives together with her husband and three kids within the north Californian countryside. “I made it out,” she says, though she stresses that the years that adopted weren’t simple.

Wendy Walsh



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

Walsh remembers crying down the cellphone to her mother and father in 1980, asking them to get her dwelling for the summer season, after which again to highschool. “I used to be sitting in my mom’s basement, affected by despair, not figuring out what that was on the time,” she says. “I used to be simply consuming and crying.” She says she is coming ahead now, “as a result of I imagine that is nonetheless an issue for women within the trade at present, and it must cease.”

After gaining a level in journalism and later a PhD in medical psychology, Walsh grew to become a profitable broadcaster. In 2017, she was the primary lady to go public with sexual harassment allegations towards Fox Information host Invoice O’Reilly. Walsh informed a New York Occasions investigation that, when she was an everyday visitor on The O’Reilly Issue in 2013, he reneged on a verbal provide to safe her a profitable place after she declined an invite to his resort suite. He was later sacked by Fox after it emerged he had paid 5 ladies tens of hundreds of thousands of to settle numerous sexual harassment lawsuits. On the time, O’Reilly mentioned there was no advantage to the allegations. “I by no means mistreated anybody,” he mentioned, including that he had resolved issues privately to guard his kids from publicity.

Walsh is now a professional psychotherapist and hosts the Dr Wendy Walsh radio present. “Folks say, ‘How have been you so courageous to only go, “No”, to this highly effective man who supplied you a significant job on tv in America?’” she says. “And what I mentioned in all of the press conferences is that I’m a girl of a sure age, I’ve had some life expertise. However what I actually meant is, I realized the arduous method. What occurred with Gérald Marie ready me for what occurred with Invoice O’Reilly, 30 years later. What I realized after I was 18 was to by no means go to the non-public quarters of any highly effective man, whether or not he held your paycheck or not.”


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