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Ex-Elite models boss investigated over rape and sex assault claims

French prosecutors open criminal investigation into model agency boss Gérald Marie de Castellac who is accused of rape and sexual assault of four women including BBC reporter

  • Gerald Marie, former president of Elite for 25 years, being investigated for rape
  • Prosecutors also looking into allegations of ‘rape and sexual assault of a minor’
  • The probe follows a complaint from a former BBC journalist Lisa Brinkworth 
  • 3 ex-models’ abuse allegations are also being investigated, prosecutors said

French prosecutors are probing allegations of rape, including of a minor, made against the former European boss of the Elite Models agency.

Gérald Marie de Castellac, the ex-husband of supermodel Linda Evangelista, has been hit with allegations of ‘rape and sexual assault, as well as rape and sexual assault of a minor’ and is being investigated by a specialist child protection unit.

The probe follows a complaint from a former BBC journalist Lisa Brinkworth and claims of abuse by three ex-models, the Paris prosecutor’s office said. 

Pictured: Gerald Marie and his ex-wife Linda Evangelista

 French prosecutors are probing allegations of rape, including of a minor, made against Gérald Marie de Castellac (left and right with his ex-wife Linda Evangelista)

The investigation will be based on criminal complaints lodged by women for alleged assaults between 1980 and 1988. 

Under the statute of limitations, this is probably too long ago to be brought before a court now.

This is one of the issues that must be determined by the investigation, which in France does not necessarily result in trial.

Ms Brinkworth claimed that in October 1998, when she was posing as a model while doing an investigation, Marie sexually assaulted her in a nightclub, pushing his genitals against her abdomen.

She was working undercover on a documentary into allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour towards models – many of them underage – in certain agencies.

Carre Sutton (formerly Carre Otis) has accused him of 'countless' rapes that happened in 1986, when she was 17

Jill Dodd (right) says she was raped in 1980, when she was 19

Carre Sutton (formerly Carre Otis) (left) has accused him of ‘countless’ rapes that happened in 1986, when she was 17. Jill Dodd (right) says she was raped in 1980, when she was 19

Brinkworth has said she was traumatised by the event, but was prevented from coming forward by an agreement between the BBC and Elite in 2001 following a defamation suit.

Her lawyers hope this restriction on her speaking out can be a basis for bypassing the statute of limitations.

Brinkworth’s complaint is accompanied by claims from three former models of alleged rape by Marie in Paris when they were teenagers or young women.

Carré Sutton (formerly Carré Otis) has accused him of ‘countless’ rapes that happened in 1986, when she was 17, Ebba Karlsson of an incident in 1990, when she was 20 or 21, and Jill Dodd in 1980, when she was 19.

These alleged crimes may also be beyond the statute of limitations, which restricts the amount of time after an alleged offence that legal proceedings can be launched. 

Another woman, Ebba Karlsson, 51, claims the 70-year-old sexually assaulted her at his office in Paris in the same period

Letters sent to the Tribunal Judiciaire in Paris show BBC journalist Lisa Brinkworth (pictured) also claimed she was assaulted by Marie when she was undercover there in 1998

Another woman, Ebba Karlsson (left), 51, claims the 70-year-old sexually assaulted her at his office in Paris in the same period. Letters sent to the Tribunal Judiciaire in Paris show BBC journalist Lisa Brinkworth (right) also claimed she was assaulted by Marie when she was undercover there in 1998

Marie’s lawyer could not be reached for comment on Monday. Over the weekend, the former modelling boss ‘categorically’ denied the claims to The Sunday Times.

The BBC also did not reply to a request for comment.

Brinkworth’s lawyer Anne-Claire Lejeune welcomed Monday’s announcement by the Paris prosecutors.

‘This investigation will, I hope, give others the courage to speak up. This is an encouraging first step and a relief for the victims,’ she said. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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