Seven more women have come to the fore to accuse the previous model agency boss Gérald Marie of sexual misconduct, adding to mounting allegations that have drawn parallels with the disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Last month a Guardian investigation revealed that nine women had made sexual misconduct allegations against Marie, who for 3 decades was one among the foremost powerful men within the apparel industry .
All those allegations, which ranged from harassment to rape, were firmly denied by Marie, who is now 70 and living in Spain.
Now seven more women have come to the fore to the Guardian to share new accounts of misconduct by Marie. One is Laurie Marsden, a former model who works as a psychotherapist in Brisbane, Australia. She said Marie sexually assaulted her in Paris when she was 19.
Marsden was working for Paris Planning, workplace Marie ran until 1986, when it merged with Elite. Marie then became the ecu president of Elite, one among the world’s premier model agencies, which within the 1990s represented several supermodels including Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford.
Marsden said she was at a party in 1982 when Marie said he would make her a star. Later, he waited for her outside a toilet and, when she came out, she alleges that he pushed her on to a bed during a neighbouring room.
“His full weight was on me and he was holding me down,” she said. “He was touching me everywhere my body.”
As her skirt rode up, she said she told him to prevent and said “no”, but he ignored her pleas. Marsden said she was only ready to shake what she describes as an attempted rape by twisting her body and using her feet to lever herself off the bed.
The following Monday, consistent with Marsden, Marie cancelled the three jobs she had lined up with Elle magazine. She believes she was punished for resisting the sexual abuse the previous week.
Another former top model, Lesa Amoore, alleged that Marie sexually assaulted and harassed her several times over a three-year period when she was working for Elite within the early 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” within the groin to flee , she said.
On another occasion, at his apartment, Amoore said Marie tried to kiss her and put his pass on her pants but she was ready to push him off. Despite repeatedly making it clear she wasn’t curious about him, Amoore said Marie would show up at her apartment late in the dark and demand she let him in, which she refused.
“Anyone around for any length of your time saw Gerald was chasing models. I mean, he’d do so ahead of people ,” said Amoore. “Models shared warnings, while bookers like mine tried to assist us steer clear.”
Emily Mott, a former model from ny , alleges she was sexually assaulted by Marie, in 1985 or 1986, after she was asked to assist his then girlfriend, the supermodel Linda Evangelista, enter his apartment. Mott said when Evangelista was in another room, Marie “forced himself on me and tried to kiss me and tussle me on to a bed”. Mott, a varsity rower, said she was “thankful” she had “the strength to push him off”.
There is no suggestion that Evangelista, who was later married to Marie between 1987 and 1993, was conscious of this incident or the other allegation against her former husband until they were made public recently.
Evangelista told the Guardian last month she believed the ladies accusing her ex-husband, adding: “It breaks my heart because these are wounds which will never heal, and that i admire their courage and strength.”