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Former model ‘raped by agent’ says fashion industry ‘complicit’ in widespread abuse

Former model ‘raped by agent’ says fashion industry ‘complicit’ in widespread abuse
Carrie Sutton has accused former French modelling agent Gerald Marie of rape

A former model has claimed she was repeatedly raped by Linda Evangelista’s industry boss husband when she was just 17.

Carre Sutton is one of at least 11 models who have filed testimonies to a Paris prosecutor about their alleged abuse at the hands of the French modelling agent Gerald Marie.

Ms Sutton said that she was sexually assaulted by Marie “sometimes several times a week” over multiple weeks in 1986.

She alleged that people within the fashion industry were “totally complicit” to the abuse of models, particularly in Paris, where Marie was the European head of Elite modelling agency.

<p>Ms Sutton, pictured with US model and photographer Lesa Amoore, speaking after filing a criminal complaint in New York   </p>

Ms Sutton, pictured with US model and photographer Lesa Amoore, speaking after filing a criminal complaint in New York

She said that the abuse happened when Marie’s wife, supermodel Linda Evangelista, was out of town and there is no suggestion that Ms Evangelista knew about the alleged attacks. Marie has always denied the allegations against him.

“He basically forced himself on me and raped me,” Ms Sutton said in a new Sky documentary examining the fashion industry.

“I remember being so devastated and terrified,” she said in Scouting for Girls: Fashion’s Darkest Secret.

<p>Gerald Marie is former president of Elite Model Group</p>

Gerald Marie is former president of Elite Model Group

In 2020, Ms Evangelista issued a statement in support of her former husband’s accusers in which she praised their courage and strength.

She added: “Hearing them now, and based on my own experiences, I believe that they are telling the truth.”

Ms Sutton added that she was often sent to casting jobs at the homes of photographers who were “known predators” within the industry”. She said that being asked to strip off was totally normal.

“It was really the vulnerable, and the ones that weren’t making bank, who were the ones who were preyed on,” she told Sky.

<p>Supermodel Linda Evangelista has previously said she supports the accusers </p>

Supermodel Linda Evangelista has previously said she supports the accusers

Ms Sutton has spoken out to encourage any other alleged victims of Marie to come forward. French law means that allegations of sexual abuse must be reported within 20 years, or 30 years in the case of children.

Ms Sutton believes that there could be other women who were abused by Marie more recently. “I don’t think perpetrators just flip a switch,” she told the Sky documentary.

“The reason I came forward is that I have daughters. I don’t want them to normalise what I normalised for so long. It’s still a completely unregulated industry that’s working with minors mostly, and young adults.

“That it’s the only industry that’s unregulated is outrageous.”