Model Carré Sutton says ex Elite boss Gerald Marie raped her after giving her drugs
The 52-year-old filed a lawsuit last month accusing Marie of having 'repeatedly raped her' at his apartment when she was 17 years old
American model Carré Sutton has reiterated that she was raped by Gerald Marie, a former boss at Elite management in Paris. Sutton was invited by French police along with other models to testify against him. This comes just a month after the 52-year-old model filed a lawsuit in New York City last month accusing Marie, former head of Elite Model Management's European division, of having "repeatedly raped her" at his apartment when she was 17 years old.
During a press conference in France on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, which coincided with fashion month and raising awareness, Sutton spoke out against her alleged attacker. This, despite there being no possibility of charges, with the statute of limitations having long expired.
Sutton claimed Marie would ply her with vials of cocaine "on the premise that it would allow her to lose weight to become a more successful model".
Sutton, who in the 90s was the face of Guess, Calvin Klein, and other popular brands, said that, when she came on to Marie's radar "she was completely trapped".
She said that she depended on Marie for food, housing and bookings. "I knew I had to endure the abuse in order to continue working. That was made very clear to me," she said. Sutton added that it took years for her to even process the alleged abuse, let alone discuss it.
'The Harvey Weinstein of the fashion industry'
Marie, who is now 71 years old, is accused in Sutton's suit of having "trafficked" her "to other wealthy men around Europe". The agent was dubbed "the Harvey Weinstein of the fashion industry" for preying on young models in the 80s and 90s. He now lives in Ibiza and has been accused of abuse by at least 11 women.
During the conference, Sutton recalled how, while still a child, she was trafficked from San Francisco to New York and then to Marie. She said it was "by design and there I endured [alleged] abuse." And added that others have had similar experiences.
The model said that she was so young she did not know how to handle the abuse. "As a child, it's really what you do to survive and try to normalize or compartmentalize is classic trauma response," she said, adding, "As a child, it's really what you do to survive and try to normalize or compartmentalize is classic trauma response."
The reason she was speaking now -- despite the statute of limitations being passed -- was to encourage others to follow suit, and change the culture of silence. "Abuse is normalized in our industry and in the modeling industry because of the perceived privilege of being paid for winning a genetic lottery," she said, according to Women's Wear Daily. "Many see that as the price of fame and even as fair trade. The industry that enabled my abuse and let men pay for access to women is still the same industry today."
Sutton said that her message to those "who may be suffering, that you're not alone and we are here for you". She added, "Unfortunately, because of France's complicated and backwards laws of sexual abuse, I cannot bring a legal claim against Marie here. It is time to hold this man accountable for his crimes."
Sutton recalled that she first got the courage to demand the abuse stopped in 1986. But she was instead "kicked out to go to another apartment and then work stopped". While she was there has "been no accountability" since she first told her story 11 years ago, Sutton said, "I really don't expect much."
She added, "For me, justice isn't about seeing somebody behind bars. There are many Gerald Maries within this industry. It's about seeing change within an industry that's still largely unregulated. That, for me, is what justice looks like."
Meanwhile, Marie's lawyer Celine Bekerman reportedly said that he "refutes with dismay these false and defamatory allegations," but would be "withholding his eventual statements until speaking to the competent authorities."