Prosecutors in France have opened an investigation into Gerald Marie, 70, former head of one of the world’s biggest modeling agencies. The investigation began after four women claimed that they faced sexual assault and were raped in the hands of Marie in the 1980s and 1990s.
Some women who have made the claims were minors during the period of occurrence of the event and thus a special child protection unit will lead the investigation into the allegations.
The investigation is based on criminal complaints lodged by women between 1980 and 1988. Fortunately, the events described by the women fall outside the scope of the French statute of limitation.
In 2018, a new French law extended the statute of limitation for the rape of a minor to 30 years, instead of 20. But the time limit for prosecuting the rape of an adult remained 20 years.
Lisa Brink, former BBC journalist, claimed that Marie sexually assaulted her in a night club, pushing his genitals into her abdomen. Brinkworth also mentioned that she was traumatized after the event but was prevented by a confidentiality agreement between Elite and BBC, post a defamation suit.
Other complainants include Carre Sutton who was 20 in 1986 when the rape had taken place, EbbaKarlson who was 20 in 1990, and Jill Dodd who was 19 in 1990.
Refusing to comment further, Marie said to Sunday Times that he categorically denies all such claims and allegations made against him.
The French modeling industry first came under scrutiny in the 1980s; in 1988, as part of a “60 Minutes” program, Diane Sawyer interviewed a number of young models in Paris who accused Mr. Brunel and associates of drugging and raping them. Their accounts did not result in a formal investigation. Mr. Marie has also previously faced allegations of sexual impropriety and exploitation.