Years after they say former Elite executive Gérald Marie sexually assaulted them, women are speaking out amid a French investigation into the allegations.
French investigators last week collected testimonies from several women who say they were raped or sexually abused by Marie, the former Europe chief of Elite modelling agency. More than 5 others are set to be interviewed in the coming week, Agence France-Presse reports, citing sources close to the inquiry.
Victims of Marie’s alleged assaults who are speaking out publicly include Swedish model Ebba Karlsson and former BBC journalist Lisa Brinkworth.
A kingmaker in the modeling industry in the 1990s, Marie’s agency helped to launch the careers of top models like Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Linda Evangelista (to whom he was previously married).
Brinkworth was posing as a model for an investigative report in 1998 when Marie assaulted her in a Milan nightclub, she says. After the report aired in 1999, Elite sued the BBC for defamation. “He was untouchable for too, too long,” Brinkworth told AFP.
The inquiry, opened in 2020, is being led by the French police’s child protection unit, as some of the alleged incidents include assaults on minors.
Marie is also being pursued in New York, where the model and Wild Orchid actress Carré Sutton (formerly known as Carré Otis) filed a lawsuit against him and other Elite executives in August. In the suit, Sutton claims she was raped repeatedly by Marie, given cocaine to lose weight, and trafficked to other men at the age of 17.
Sutton is also cooperating with the French investigation and is set to give a press conference in Paris Tuesday.
Marie “refutes with dismay these false and defamatory allegations,” his lawyer said in a statement via e-mail. “He shall be withholding his eventual statements until speaking to the competent authorities.”
The former supermodel filed a complaint in a Manhattan federal court against Gérald Marie and Trudi Tapscott, claiming she was a victim of sexual abuse and negligence while working as a teenage model in Paris.