Was supermodel Linda Evangelista abused by her ex-husband?
Gerald Marie was once on top of the modelling world. As president of the Elite modelling agency, Marie ran the company that represented Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Claudia Schiffer, among other legendary models. But four former models under Elite have come forward with allegations of rape and sexual assault against Marie.
Now, Marie’s former ex-wife Linda Evangelista is speaking in support of Marie’s alleged victims. Speaking with The Guardian, supermodel Evangelista said “based on my own experiences, I believe they are telling the truth.” Evangelista was famously married to Marie between 1987 and 1993 until the two divorced.
The accusations against Marie
As the president of Elite’s Paris location, Marie was responsible for recruiting models for the agency. Former Elite model Wendy Walsh shared her story with The Guardian, admitting she questioned the way Marie treated her mother when he took them out to lunch, but brushed it off.
Within weeks of arriving in Paris to work under Marie, Walsh claimed she was raped by Marie. Walsh wasn’t the only one with a story of Marie manipulating a model into coming to his apartment alone. In their investigation, The Guardian found eight women who had stories of being raped by Gerald Marie between 1980 and 1998.
Four women came forward to French prosecutors with their stories against Marie, and an investigation was launched in September against Marie. Along with three of the women interviewed by The Guardian, BBC journalist Lisa Brinkworth claims she was raped by Marie when she went undercover in the 80s.
Why is Linda Evangelista against Marie?
During the time of many of the alleged assaults, Gerald Marie and Linda Evangelista were seeing each other and married. When she was speaking with The Guardian, Evangelista admitted she never knew her ex-husband was committing any assaults, but had she been aware of his behavior, she would have stepped in to help these young women.
None of the models interviewed by The Guardian said or implied Linda Evangelista knew about Marie’s actions. Evangelista shared “It breaks my heart because these are wounds that may never heal, and I admire their courage and strength for speaking up today.”
Linda Evangelista: Marie’s ninth victim?
After Linda Evangelista shared her thoughts on Marie’s allegations with The Guardian, many began to question what inspired Evangelista to speak out. While many brushed it off as an obligation, as Evangelista was married to Marie during the period of the allegations, many believe this is a silent cry of solidarity.
Linda Evangelista has never come out with claims of abuse against her ex-husband. Even her divorce from Marie in 1993 wasn’t drama-filled like some celebrity divorces. Yet many are inferring there was abuse in Evangelista’s relationship with Marie because of something she said in her statement to The Guardian.
Specifically, Evangelista says “based on my own experiences”, which many people are assuming is Evangelista admitting to being abused by Marie in the past. However, Evangelista has yet to confirm if she was abused by Marie or not, so there’s very little known for certain about Evangelista’s past with Marie.
Outright denying allegations
After the initial batch of allegations came out against Marie, his lawyer released a statement saying Marie was “deeply affected” by the allegations, and outright denied them entirely. “He intends to actively participate in the manifestation of the truth within the scope of the opened criminal investigation.”
Later, Marie was asked about the allegations by The Sunday Times, and commented on the allegations denying them again. “It would not be appropriate for me to comment at this time on the allegations of historic wrongdoing being made against me, other than to make it clear that I categorically deny them.”