Supermodel Linda Evangelista has praised the “strength and courage” of the women accusing her ex-husband Gerald Marie — model, actor and former head of Elite modelling agency — of rape.
In a special investigation by journalist Lucy Osborne in The Guardian, four women stepped out of the shadows to accuse Marie, 70, of assaulting or raping them, including three former models and ex-BBC journalist Lisa Brinkworth.
Now, Marie’s former wife of 16 years, Evangelista, is backing these women up. “During my relationship with Gerald Marie, I knew nothing of these sexual allegations against him, so I was unable to help these women,” she told the Guardian. “Hearing them now, and based on my own experiences, I believe that they are telling the truth. It breaks my heart because these are wounds that may never heal, and I admire their courage and strength for speaking up today.”
Evangelista married Marie in 1987 and they divorced in 1993.
It breaks my heart because these are wounds that may never heal, and I admire their courage and strength for speaking up today.
French prosecutors have opened an investigation into Marie after allegations of rape and sexual assault, including the rape and sexual assault of a minor. Ex-BBC journalist Brinkworth claims that Marie sexually assaulted her in 1998 in a nightclub, while she was part of an undercover investigation for a documentary about sexual harassment towards models.
Former models Carre Sutton, Ebba Karlsson and Jill Dodd have also alleged that Marie raped them in Paris, while they were 17, 20 or 21 and 19 respectively. The alleged incidents took place between 1980 and 1990, and may exceed the statute of limitations, which could hinder any legal proceedings against Marie.