The former supermodel filed a complaint in a Manhattan federal court last week against Gérald Marie and Trudi Tapscott, claiming she was a victim of sexual abuse and negligence while working as a teenage model in Paris.
The suit alleges that Marie, then the president of Elite’s Europe division, “repeatedly raped” Sutton and later “trafficked” her to other wealthy men around Europe. It claims that Tapscott, who it says at the time was responsible for overseeing the welfare of newly scouted models, was negligent.
Marie denies the allegations against him, according to a statement provided by a lawyer acting for the executive. Elite Model Management did not respond to BoF’s request for comment. The Model Coaches, a New York-based company, which Sutton’s suit states is owned by Tapscott, did not respond to BoF’s request for comment.
Sutton filed the suit in accordance with the Child Victims Act, a piece of New York State legislation that allows victims of underage abuse to file civil lawsuits regardless of how long ago the incident took place. Since the law was introduced in 2019, thousands of such cases have been filed. Many, including Sutton’s and a case against Prince Andrew brought by Virginia Guiffre, were filed last week as the window to bring time-barred claims was due to close.
“I took action and filed this case on behalf of all survivors who can’t because they haven’t felt ready to come forward yet, or they’ve been shut out of seeking justice altogether by [an] artificially low statute of limitations,” Sutton told BoF.
Marie is also facing a criminal investigation in Paris, over allegations of sexual misconduct. Sutton is among several women who have made claims against the executive set to give testimony against him, according to a statement from model advocacy group Model Alliance announcing Sutton’s suit on Friday.
Reactions to public claims of sexual misconduct within fashion have shifted dramatically over the past decade, but critics question how much the industry has really changed.