Who is Gerald Marie? Ex-Elite model agency head raped 3 women including Carre Otis, 17, claim legal documents
In legal documents submitted to the Tribunal Judiciaire in Paris Carré Otis, 51, and Jill Dodd, 60, accused Marie of raping them when they were aged 17 and 20 respectively
The former head of one of the world's largest modeling agencies has been accused of rape and sexual assault in France. 70-year-old Gerald Marie had been the president of Elite Model Management for around 25 years. The model agency is based in Paris and was headed by Marie who is alleged to have carried out many attacks on women during the 1980s and 1990s according to legal documents.
In legal documents that were submitted to the Tribunal Judiciaire in Paris this week, two women 51-year-old Carre Otis and 60-year-old Jill Dodd have claimed that Marie had assaulted them during the same time period. Otis and Dodd say that Marie had raped them when they were aged 17 and 20 respectively. Otis had even written extensively about it in her book 'Beauty Disrupted' in 2011. In the book, she described how Marie — then engaged to supermodel Linda Evangelista — raped her while she was renting a room in his Paris home. They often snorted lines of cocaine together, she wrote.
The two women are speaking out in order to encourage other women to come forward and help protect young and vulnerable women in the industry. Another woman 51-year-old Ebba Karlsson has claimed that Marie had abused her at his office during the same time, reports The Sun.
Marie who currently heads another agency Oui Management has denied all the allegations made against him. While speaking to The Sunday Times, Marie said, "It would not be appropriate for me to comment at this time on the allegations of historic wrongdoing being made against me, other than to make it clear that I categorically deny them."
Letters that were sent to the Tribunal Judiciare show how BBC journalist Lisa Brinkworth had also claimed that she had been assaulted by Marie while being undercover there in 1998. The women have told Paris prosecutors to look into the allegations but no criminal proceedings have been initiated. Dodd shared that she was speaking out in order to help stop "intolerable acts by men in power who seem to be able to act in all impunity". In the legal documents, she says that the experience had given her PTSD and had made it very difficult for her to trust men.
"I was so scared and full of shame about it that I didn’t talk about it for years and years. It still impacts my life for sure, I don’t know that it ever really goes away," she shared. Otis took to her Instagram handle and hinted at the upcoming expose and said that she has "worked diligently with several brave souls over the past months to bring truth and justice forth."
She had written, "It has taken courage and hand-holding. True support from a band of angels." She also shared, "I send gratitude to my sisters that have found their lion hearts, their warrior legs, and stood with me behind the scenes fighting a very dark force."
While speaking to the UK Times she shared that she refuses to stay mum on the matter. "We still have perpetrators in the industry and it has to stop. I have daughters. I don’t want them to have to grow up and normalize any amount of sexual harassment or sexual assault in their lives," she shared.
"I would like to tell other victims and survivors that telling my story was pivotal to me. It was so important for me to find my voice and trailblaze. It involved a lot of tears and processing and a lot of healing too," Otis continued.