In a large investigation devoted to Gérald Marie, a former model star agent accused of rape and sexual assault by 14 women, Carla Bruni evokes the frightening methods of “predators” that are rampant in this environment.
After the Weinstein scandal, which sparked a wave of denunciations in the film industry and the advent of the popular hashtag #MeToo, would it be the model’s turn to be the breeding ground for accusations of repeated sexual assault and rape? ? The case started this year concerns one of the popes of fashion: the famous agent Gerald Marie. He has supported no less than 5,000 young women in their careers, and notably established himself as the agency’s European director. Elite. He left this post just ten years ago. But today, it is in court that he could be held accountable. 14 women filed a civil complaint against him. Sexual touching, forced relationships, sexist and macho behaviors … We can no longer count the number of testimonies for the prosecution.
Carla Bruni sheds light on the abject mechanisms of fashion
Among the ex-models who have rubbed shoulders with him and support this new wave of accusations, a certain Carla Bruni. If she specifies that she has never been a victim of his supposed actions, the wife of Nicolas Sarkozy is convinced that her former colleagues in the profession are telling the truth about Gerald Marie. Above all, she intends to denounce the nauseating mechanisms of a universe where men have too often objectified women. What she does in the columns of the magazine Paris Match. The former First Lady regrets the balance of power that has been established and speaks about the vulnerability of young women, often minors, who are embarking on a career as a model: “Predators, in fashion as elsewhere, develop instincts to spot their victims, the youngest and most fragile”.
Young models often considered “cattle” and abused
There followed drifts that some consider almost systematic. “Ninety percent of them are considered cattle. They are easy prey, victims of abuse and mistreatment.”, confirms for her part Sara Ziff, who works for an NGO defending the rights of models. Among the defenders of Gérald Marie, some seek to play down these observations. Men, on condition of anonymity, prefer to talk about an era “libertine”, “sexy but not sexist”, and of “consenting girls who slept to get there”. Although he did not wish to respond to Paris Match, the main accused would pose as a victim to his relatives. Gérald Marie would ultimately define himself as “a powerful, heterosexual man”, and therefore inevitably like “a perfect target, the man to shoot down” in this period which buries the previous one.