Linda Evangelista claims she was abused by ex-husband Gérald Marie as she praises women who accused him of rape for ‘giving her the courage to speak’

Linda Evangelista has claimed that ex-husband Gérald Marie abused her during their five-year marriage. 

The Canadian supermodel, 58, was married to Marie, 73, between 1987 and 1993, during which time he was the European chief of Elite Model Management. 

Discussing their relationship in Apple TV+ documentary The Super Models, Evangelista said: ‘I learned that maybe I was in the wrong relationship.

‘It’s easier said than done to leave an abusive relationship. I understand that concept, because I lived it. If it was just a matter of saying, ‘I want a divorce, see ya’… it doesn’t work that way.

‘He knew not to touch my face, not to touch the money-maker, you know?’

Accusations: Linda Evangelista has claimed that ex-husband Gérald Marie abused her. The pair were married between 1987 and 1993 (pictured in 1991)

Accusations: Linda Evangelista has claimed that ex-husband Gérald Marie abused her. The pair were married between 1987 and 1993 (pictured in 1991) 

She continued: ‘I married him when I was 22 and I got out when I was 27 and he let me out as long as he got everything. But I was safe and I got my freedom.’

In 2020, Marie was accused of rape and sexual misconduct by seven women, with Evangelista admitting she believed their claims while praising their ‘courage and strength’. 

She went on to reveal that they had given her the ‘courage’ to speak out but that their allegations had ‘broke my heart.’ 

She stated in the documentary: ‘Thanks to the power of all these women coming forward, God bless all of them, it gave me the courage now to speak…

‘I would love that justice be served. I would love for a–holes like that to think twice and be afraid and I would love women to know that they’re not alone.’

In a statement to Apple TV+, Marie denied the claims of abuse and said he ‘has never committed the slightest act of violence’.

Marie’s legal representatives told MailOnline: ‘Gérald Marie firmly objects to the defamatory and false allegations made against him. He refuses to participate in this dishonest media controversy.’

Evangelista previously claimed that due to her ‘own experiences’ with Marie she believed allegations that he raped and sexually assaulted models in the 1980s and 1990s.

Marie was reported to have carried out the crimes while working for Elite modelling agency amongst other Paris agencies.

In a 2020 interview with the Guardian, she said: ‘During my relationship with Gérald Marie, I knew nothing of these sexual allegations against him, so I was unable to help these women.’

Speaking to the Guardian’s Weekend magazine, Evangelista said: ‘Hearing them [the alleged victims] 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.’

One to watch: Evangelista made the claims while discussing their relationship in Apple TV+ documentary The Super Models

One to watch: Evangelista made the claims while discussing their relationship in Apple TV+ documentary The Super Models

Accusation: One of at least 13 former models accusing Marie of rape, 53-year-old American model Carré Sutton says she was repeatedly assaulted by the model boss in 1985, when she was 16

Accusation: One of at least 13 former models accusing Marie of rape, 53-year-old American model Carré Sutton says she was repeatedly assaulted by the model boss in 1985, when she was 16

Last year it was claimed that during their marriage, Marie ran a sordid sex ring from within his multinational modelling agency – where he allegedly raped more than a dozen models as young as 14.

He was accused of raping at least 13 Elite models – reportedly targeting younger women because he thought that ‘virgins were not photogenic,’ a former staffer said.

Marie also kept tabs on the models he and others had slept with, the whistleblower said, grading them on a points-based system, according to their ages and whether or not they were virgins.

He denied all allegations made against him.

Accusers also said the Frenchman would ply his victims with a daily stipend of cocaine to keep them thin while engaging in the abuse – with one alleged victim saying she was ‘prescribed’ a vial of the drug a day to keep her weight down.

One of at least 13 former models accusing Marie of rape, 53-year-old American model Carré Sutton says she was repeatedly assaulted by the model boss in 1985, when she was 16.

At the time, Marie was dating Evangelista – with Sutton claiming in a lawsuit against her ex-employer, filed last year, that several of the assaults took place in the Paris apartment the mogul shared with the model. 

In February, French prosecutors closed the investigation into rape and sexual assault after concluding that the alleged crimes in the Eighties and Nineties took place too long ago to be prosecuted under French law which sets time limits for offences to be tried in court.

‘The case was closed on 13 February because of the statute of limitations for public action,’ the justice ministry said in a statement.

A lawyer for the businessman, Celine Bekerman, said her client ‘welcomed the closing of this case. The justice system has finally triumphed despite the outrageous media campaign that Gérald Marie has suffered for two years.

‘With this decision, it is now established that Gérald Marie is and will remain innocent.’

Journalist Lisa Brinkworth went undercover as a model for a BBC expose in the Nineties and previously said materials she filmed while working for Donal MacIntyre Investigates in 1998 could help in her legal action against Marie.

Lawyers for Brinkworth and the other accusers filed papers to the Paris prosecutor arguing the statute should not apply due to factors that prevented them reporting Marie sooner and a judge is currently assessing their evidence. 

Brinkworth said she was hopeful that Evangelista’s comments would boost their case and that she was grateful to the model for supporting their cause. 

The journalist claims Marie sexually assaulted her in 1998 while she was working undercover alongside Donal MacIntyre to expose sex crimes in the industry for a BBC documentary. 

She said: ‘We understand how difficult it is to stand up to an abuser and to go public with our allegations; it must be even more so when you were married to that abuser. 

Linda’s courage has given us renewed hope that our journey has not been in vain. Linda should know that our hearts break all over again, for what we now know she endured.’ 

She added: ‘We hope that the bravery she has shown will encourage others to follow.’ Evangelista said the allegations from other women ‘broke my heart,’ adding: ‘I would love that justice be served. I would love for a–holes like that to think twice and be afraid and I would love women to know that they’re not alone.’ 

Evangelista has hit the headlines recently with her string of candid confessions in The Super Models, which sees the runway queen open up about her illustrious career alongside fellow supermodels – Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington – as they reflect on how they came to dominate the fashion industry.

The four-episode project also covers many of the struggles faced by the ladies – including Evangelista’s battle with depression after she suffered from a rare reaction to the procedure known as CoolSculpting, which was designed to decrease her fat cells, but instead, made them become enlarged.

Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, the project’s directors Roger Ross Williams and Larissa Bill revealed how the mother-of-one, 58, could be seen ‘processing her emotions in real time, on camera’ as she reflected on her ordeal.

Roger, who won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Film in 2009, explained: ‘Larissa and I were in tears, and so was everyone in the crew. It was like an emotional interview from beginning to end, we were crying all the time. I’m surprised we even got anything.

‘She was letting so much out that she had never talked about before. You see her feeling guilty and processing in real time on camera, and that was an incredible interview.’

Earlier this month, Evangelista revealed that she was diagnosed with breast cancer and quietly underwent a double mastectomy five years ago.

In an interview with WSJ Magazine, the supermodel spoke out about her December 2018 diagnosis that led to her having a bilateral mastectomy before she found another lump in her chest last year.

Procedure: The model, pictured in 1995, suffered from a rare reaction to the procedure known as CoolSculpting

Procedure: The procedure was designed to decrease her fat cells, but instead, made them become enlarged - pictured in 2022

Procedure: The model suffered from a rare reaction to a procedure known as CoolSculpting which was designed to decrease her fat cells, but instead, made them become enlarged (left 1995, right 2022) 

Evangelista’s first brush with cancer was detected during her yearly mammogram.

‘The margins were not good, and due to other health factors, without hesitation, because I wanted to put everything behind me and not to have to deal with this, I opted for a bilateral mastectomy. Thinking I was good and set for life. Breast cancer was not going to kill me,’ she said. 

The supermodel said ‘only a handful of people knew’ about her cancer ordeal.

It’s unclear if she had a breast reconstruction after her bilateral mastectomy.

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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