Supermodels Accuse Former Fashion Boss ​​Gérald Marie of Rape, Sexual Misconduct

SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: (CHINA OUT) (L-R) Johanna Jonsson of Sweden, Charlotte Belliard of France, Gerald Marie, President of Elite Group and Sasha Gachulincova of Slovakia pose for pictures after the world final of the Elite Model Look 2005 competition on November 12, 2005 in Shanghai, China. Charlotte Belliard, …
China Photos/Getty Images

Dozens of models are reportedly accusing Gérald Marie — a former chief of the modeling agency Elite Model Management and, for three decades, was one of the most powerful men in the fashion industry — of rape and sexual misconduct.

Six women, all former models, have flown into Paris from across the world to talk to be interviewed by the child protection unit of the Paris police about their allegations against Marie, according to a report by the New York Times.

Their testimonies — set to be heard on Tuesday — reportedly include allegations of rape and sexual misconduct against ​​Marie. The alleged incidents are said to have occurred in the 1980s and 1990s.

“Despite the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the fashion industry has largely escaped any serious scrutiny that has compelled people in positions of power to change the way they do business,” said Sara Ziff, founder and executive director of the Model Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group for fashion workers offering resources to Marie’s accusers.

“There may have been lawsuits and settlements, and at times voluntary regulation, but we have not yet seen meaningful structural change that can legally enforce standards and hold bad actors or institutions accountable,” Ziff added.

Ziff went on to say that one of Marie’s accusers, former supermodel Carré Sutton, was “raped and trafficked as a teenager 30 years ago, and I know similar abuse still takes place in the sector today because we hear from current models via our help line.”

“This is about the fashion industry, but it could also have wider implications for how we think about women’s work,” Ziff added. “If we can’t win protections against child sex trafficking for some of the most privileged and visible women in the world, then more broadly where does that leave us?”

Marie, who was once married to Canadian model Linda Evangelista, and now lives in Ibiza, Spain, has denied the allegations that have been waged against him over the years — which have reportedly come from at least 24 women.

The allegations against Marie are the latest examples of elites in the entertainment industry being called out for alleged misbehavior towards women.

In 2017, movie mogul and Democrat Party mega-donor Harvey Weinstein was accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct, ranging from sexual harassment to rape. The allegations also spurred what is known today as the “#MeToo movement.”

Last year, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape. In June, a New York judge approved his extradition to California, where he faces additional sexual assault charges.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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