These are old affairs, which could however embarrass a leading figure in the middle, as Fashion Week opens in Paris on Monday.
Currently at the head of the model agency Oui Management, Gerald Marie is targeted by accusations of sexual abuse dating back to the 1980s and 1990s. A complaint for sexual assault filed by Lisa Brinckworth, accompanied by three reports for rape and rape on minor, was delivered Monday, September 21 to the Paris prosecutor's office.
In 1999, a documentary broadcast on the BBC tarnished the image of Gérald Marie.
Hidden cameras in support, two journalists had infiltrated the fashion world to denounce the sexual pressures exerted on the models.
In particular, we saw Gérald Marie offering the equivalent of 600 euros to journalist Lisa Brinkworth - who had passed himself off as a model - in order to sleep with her.
At the time, the man headed the European branch of the prestigious model agency Elite, and had a series of successes: it was he who launched the Elite Model Look competition and the careers of Naomi Campbell or Linda Evangelista, which he married in 1987.
A time suspended following the controversy, Gerald Marie has never been worried by justice.
The man had even come to defend himself on the set of the show “Tout le monde en parle”.
In a sequence, still visible on the Internet, we see him accompanied by two young models sweeping these accusations.
“He was rubbing against my lower abdomen.
I kept repeating no, no, but I couldn't push him away ”
It is during the filming of this British documentary, during a dinner on October 5, 1998, in Milan, that Lisa Brinkworth reports in the complaint filed to have been attacked.
After the 600 euros episode, Gérald Marie invites him to follow him, with other Elite executives, in a "whore bar".
She goes there, with her undercover colleague, for the purposes of her investigation.
“At one point he came and sat astride me.
He had an erection, he was rubbing against my lower abdomen.
, but I could not push it back, ”explains Lisa Brinkworth at Le Parisien.
According to her, the man ends up getting up, under the laughter of the audience.
"It all seemed completely normal for them ..." recalls the journalist.
The scene, which could not be filmed, was however the subject of a detailed account from the two journalists, recorded at the end of the evening.
But the BBC, attacked for defamation by Elite, has since kept the recordings and for the moment denies access to Lisa Brinkworth.
"This is an insurmountable obstacle likely to suspend the prescription," pleads today Me Anne-Claire Le Jeune, her lawyer, who is requesting the opening of a preliminary investigation.
Several models testify
To support her request, she attached to her complaint the testimonies of three former models.
Jill Dodd and Carre Sutton - the latter when she was a minor - claim to have been raped at Gerald Marie's home in the 1980s. For the Swedish Ebba Karlsson, the facts would have occurred in 1990, in the office of boss of Elite.
“He rolled down the blinds, showed me the books of famous models and said: What do
you think they did to get there?
Even before I answer, he passed his hand under my skirt and penetrated me with his fingers, ”she tells the Parisian.
New York Fashion Week in the #MeToo storm
All four say today that they are acting to avoid other victims, and initiate a real change in the world of fashion, in the wake of the Metoo movement, and the revelations of the Epstein-Brunel affair, for which an investigation is ongoing.
"The testimonies of rape victims, even prescribed, often encourage other victims to speak out and file a complaint," said Me Le Jeune.
The complaint is being studied by the Paris prosecutor's office.
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Contacted several times in recent days, Gerald Marie did not respond to the Parisian's requests.
Asked Saturday by the Sunday Times, however, he "categorically denied" these allegations.