Former boss of the modeling agency Elite Model Management, Gérald Marie was once the life companion of supermodel Linda Evangelista. Married in 1987, the couple divorced five years later, in 1997. While the reason for their breakup was not known, some speculated about possible violence within the home. At the same time, Gérald Marie had been accused by several models of rape and sexual assault, resurfaced on the front of the stage in 2020, in the wake of the Me Too movement.
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For several decades, Linda Evangelista had supported the alleged victims of Gérald Marie, while keeping her own experience by her side. Until today and the release of the documentary Les Supermodels, this Wednesday, September 20 on Apple TV+. For the first time, the model opens up candidly about the five nightmarish years lived alongside the man who, at the time, were one of the most powerful players in the fashion industry.
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"I believe they are telling the truth"
In one sequence, the 58-year-old Canadian explains: "I learned that I may be in a bad relationship. But it's easier said than done than leaving an abusive relationship. If it was just a matter of saying, "I want a divorce, see you later"... It doesn't work that way. I married him when I was 22 and left at 27 and he let me go on the condition that he had everything. But I was safe and I got my freedom." Regarding the beatings, she continues: "He knew not to touch my face, not to touch what brought money, you know?"
In 2020, she had already confided in the columns of the weekend supplement of the Guardian. Asked about the accusations of sexual assault and misconduct against her former partner, she whispered half-heartedly: "Hearing them now, and based on my own experiences, I believe they are telling the truth. It breaks my heart because these are wounds that may never heal, and I admire their courage and strength to speak out today."
Gérald Marie has always denied these accusations. Recall that in February 2023, his case was closed by the French justice because of prescription, the facts of rape of an adult dating back more than twenty years.