THE FOLLOWING EXPOSE IS CULLED FROM VARIOUS CONSUMER WEBSITES, NEWS ARTICLES, TELEVISION STORIES, CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS, CRIMINAL LAWSUITS AND FIRSTHAND INSIDER INFORMATION FROM THE PEOPLE WHO SAW IT WITH THEIR OWN 2 EYES.
It deals with a number of the top modeling agencies and their shady reputations, illegal business practices, and the criminal backgrounds of a number of their top executives.
It is no wonder author Michael Gross subtitled his book Model with the ugly side of a beautiful business.
A WARNING TO PARENTS- this report contains lurid details of underage sex between young models and their agents, drug use and criminal activity. It is not meant for minors to read. Please take note.
David Bosman, the openly gay photographer who founded Boss Models, is truly, as his name implies- the boss-man!
While the agency has been dying a slow death here in the US, it still reigns in the South African market. But it is also in the dark continent where Bosman has performed his darkest, worst deeds.
It seems that well-known throughout the South African gay community, it is understood that Boss almost exclusively recruits gay male models. These young studs are basically feeding fodder for Bosman and his mostly gay staff. The details of the parties they throw are legendary around the water coolers.
Suffice it to say that part of the ritual to getting signed by Boss is having sex with Bosman or another member of his team. High rollers who visit Sun City are often treated to massages and you can just imagine what else by model escorts or chaperones as they prefer to be called. Boss gets a call from a high roller a few days before rolling into town and after picking the perfect chaperone, the young hunk is sent to the hotel to escort the high roller around town, casinos, dinner, movies, plays, etc. You name it. And many of the models talked about tips in the thousands of dollars. Obviously you can imagine what they had to do to earn those tips.
Thanks Mr. Boss Man!
CLICK MODEL MANAGEMENT
Click Model Management, Inc. was founded in 1980 by Frances Grill, Joey Grill and Allan Mindel.
Allan has a criminal past dating back to his days in real estate back in the 1970s. He is a convicted felon who served 2 years in a minimum security prison for wire fraud. Basically having people wire money for property that was little more than a swamp. The old I can get ya a great deal on some waterfront property in Florida scam. Because the wire took place out of state, it was a felony and couldve put him away a lot longer. He pleaded guilty.
Since 1986, Flick Talents based in Los Angeles was formed in order to provide a broader range and greater service to our models in the fields of acting and television commercials. In 1995, Framework Entertainment, a bi-coastal theatrical management company was formed in order to handle the personal management needs of other talents in the television and theatrical industry. Basically these are all more scams from Allan and company to rip actors off. Unlike legitimate talent agencies that are licensed by the state of California, because they call themselves a management company they can illegally take more than the mandated 10% commission.
They wont try this in New York because of the huge class action against a few of the top agencies.
So Allan runs the west coast acting side (behind the scenes and very quietly because California doesnt look kindly on convicted felons running talent companies) and can happily rip off actors at higher commissions than allowed for agencies.
A MINI JOHN CASABLANCAS
Everybody knows that Elite Agency head John Casablancas is the biggest sex offender and pervert around. He slept with Stephanie Seymour and lived with her when she was a whopping 14 years old, and at age 50 the scumbag married a 17 year old model.
Absolutely disgusting, right?
But not to be outdone, theres a new filthy man-w***e in town. DNA Modeling Agency president David Bonnouvirer is trying to outdo Casablancas as the biggest pervert in the industry.
DB as well call him also likes the ladies; the younger the better. 16, 17,18, it doesnt matter. If youre young and cutelook out because this wolf will hunt you down. He is often seen prowling bars in the lower Village area when hes done working. There of course are rumors that he is gay, but inside staffers know the truth- hes a pervert who will try to screw anything with b***s, no matter how young.
Bookers have been leaving like a revolving door for bigger and better established agencies. With the downturn in the business since 9/11, DNA has really been hurting, again according to insiders. Cash flow has become a major problem and checks are given out to models only when they scream and threaten legal action.
Give DB some credit though; the name of his agency is appropriate. His goal is to spread as much of his own DNA around the female teenagers of New York as he can.
ELITE MODEL MANAGEMENT
The Elite Modeling Agency is without a doubt the sleaziest and slimiest agency in the world. Dont be fooled because they have a big name. Read the following 2 stories and if youre a mother or father and let your daughter even THINK about modeling with them after reading this, you should have your head examined.
The owner married a 17 year old model when he was 50, and lived with Stephanie Seymour when she modeled and was only 14. Now theyre involved in a major coke bust and have been exposed by the BBC as racists (used the n word referring to blacks on an undercover tape) and talked about having sex with underage models at their model contests.
They are filth. They are pornographers. They just do it under the cover of being a legit agency.
One mother's mission to protect her catwalk girl
Sunday November 28, 1999
Viv Brown worries about her daughter. Hollie, a 14-year-old five foot eight blond is signed to Select, a leading model agency in London. She has been modelling for around a year - already, she has appeared in several magazines, including Italian Vogue. Her mother accompanies her to fashion shoots, and oversees Select's suggestions for Hollie's career.
`There is the worry that men might try and take advantage of my daughter,' says Brown, of Ravensworth in Gateshead. `I've never come across it, but that doesn't mean it never happens. But perhaps that's why I always make sure that I'm there. And we've made sure that none of the girls at Hollie's school know she is modelling: they might get a little jealous and try to bully her.' Brown says her daughter has yet to express any intention to make a career of modelling. `But if she did decide to do it, I would make sure it was the right decision. Young girls can get really carried away - Hollie knows that not everyone can become a supermodel.'
The fashion industry neatly escapes all notions of morality. In the past decade alone, the industry has glorified heroin chic, anorexia, racial stereotypes and increasingly younger models. But over the next few weeks, photographers, model bookers and agency bosses will be forced to re-evaluate the way the industry acquits itself.
Two senior executives at Elite - one of the industry's leading agencies - last week resigned in the wake of a British television documentary showing one soliciting sex with young women, and the other making racist comments. Elite, which boasts clients such as Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, revealed that its Europe Chairman Gerald Marie and Xavier Moreau, head of Elite Model Look, had voluntarily stepped down from their positions.
Both Marie and Moreau were among four Elite staff investigated by the documentary. Filmed in secret, Marie - ex-husband of supermodel Linda Evangelista - was seen saying to an undercover woman journalist: `I'll give you one million lire (300) if you go to bed with me.' Moreau, a close confidante of Naomi Campbell, was shown remarking to friends over dinner: `Africa would be okay if they were all white.' He later adds: `I don't like black girls.'
Elite is widely regarded as the blueprint for modern modelling - it ushered in a wave of corporate thinking previously unseen in the industry. Since it opened in 1971, the agency has discovered and managed several generations of supermodels. `Elite invented the whole modern modelling business,' says Roger Tredre, Editor-In-Chief of Worth Global Style Network, the fashion industry's online bible. `They brought in professional people who turned modelling into the corporate and professionally run business it is today.'
But Elite has long attracted accusations of seedy impropriety on the part of its male management. Its chairman John Casablancas serves as a fitting metaphor for the fashion industry's fickle moral standards. At over 6ft 2 inches, he cuts an imposing figure - almost professorial in his treatment of his models. In 1994, then aged 50, he married for the third time. His bride was a 17-year-old Bible-reading Brazilian high school junior called Aline Wermelinger - they met when she was competing in the regional heat of Elite's `Look of the Year' contest in Rio De Janeiro. Casablancas, who was one of the contest's judges, voted Wermelinger the winner.
Interviewed the same year, Casablancas explained his rationale for marrying such a young model: `Look, I was 24 and the models were 18,' he said, almost without irony. `I was 35 and the models were 18. I was 45 and the models were 18. And now I'm 50 and the models are still 18. It's not that I try to date the models that I work with. It's that everybody socialises with the people with whom they work all the time and so the possibility that that would happen was enormous.'
"John Casablancas, founder of leading model agency Elite and the father of Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas, has been named in a sex abuse lawsuit by an aspiring model who claims he made her pregnant at the age of 15, and then arranged an abortion -- all more than 15 years ago.
John Casablancas, 60, whose Elite agency has represented supermodels such as Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, is accused of sexual abuse of a minor. The plaintiff, whose name was not made public, is seeking substantial damages. Lawyers for Casablancas said the allegations were fabricated and were confident the case would be dismissed.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that Casablancas began sexually abusing the girl in 1988 when she was a finalist in Elite's prestigious "Look of the Year" competition for fresh new faces. The former model said she traveled with Casablancas to New York later that year when it was discovered she was pregnant by him. She alleges she was driven to a doctor's office and an abortion was arranged for her at the behest of Casablancas. "
Sorry it took me some time - this is a picture of John Casablancas, founder of model agency Elite, "judging" a candidate in the "Look of the Year" contest. Casablancas is the one with glasses.
He is now accused in Los Angeles of sexual abuse of a minor. The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, alleges that Casablancas began sexually abusing the girl in 1988 when she was a finalist in Elite's prestigious "Look of the Year" competition for fresh new faces.
The former model said she traveled with Casablancas to New York later that year when it was discovered she was pregnant by him. She alleges she was driven to a doctor's office and an abortion was arranged for her at the behest of Casablancas.
Casablancas set up the Elite agency in New York in 1970 and made it into one of the world's leading model agencies, guiding the careers of Linda Evangelista, Andie MacDowell and Kelly Emberg and rivaling the long-established Ford Models Inc.
The name of the plaintiff in the Los Angeles lawsuit is being withheld but her lawyer said she was now in her 30s, married with two children, and living in San Diego.
"What happened to me should never happen to any little girl. I hope that by coming forward I can protect other minor boys and girls working for Elite or any other agency," the plaintiff said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Casablancas denies the charges. He left Elite in 2000 and now runs the John Casablancas Modeling and Career Center in New York.
Elite was at the center of another sex storm in 1999 when a British television documentary caught the chairman of Elite Europe soliciting sex from an undercover journalist who was posing as an aspiring model. Two senior Elite executives were forced to resign.
Casablancas was accused in Michael Gross' best-seller "Models" to have taken advantage of several minors, including supermodel Stefanie Seymour.
He is regularly accused of milking would-be models, asking for "registration fees", "book expenses" etc. More about that here .
A federal judge has ruled that a proposed class action lawsuit against several major New York modeling agencies can go forward because their actions may have violated federal law.
The order, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, dismissed the models' state law claims but allowed their federal claims to proceed.
"As a result of defendants' alleged unlawful agreement to fix prices on commission and charges to models, plaintiffs have been damaged and continue to be damaged by having to pay inflated prices in a non-competitive setting," Judge Harold Baer, Jr. wrote. (Click here to read the order.)
The class action suit was filed by models working for New York modeling agencies including Wilhemina Model Agency, Ford Models, and Elite Model Management. The models alleged that the agencies conspired to set fees charged to models, charged fees in excess of those allowed by New York state law, and did not look out for the plaintiffs' welfare. The modeling agencies allegedly fixed the prices at monthly meetings of the International Model Management Association.
Baer found that despite the defendants' protestations that the plaintiffs' "bare-bones" complaint lacked detail, the allegations meet minimum standard for antitrust claim. "Taking the allegation of uniform pricing, participation in a trade association to facilitate the price fixing, and other uniform features of the contractI am persuaded that plaintiffs have met their burden, at least for now," Baer wrote.
In the wake of a scathing documentary about the modeling business, Elite's John Casablancas, a legendary Lothario, is preaching reform. Talk about strange bedfellows.
By Michael Gross
A little more than ten years ago, Marie Anderson Boyd witnessed a prequel to the underage-model scandal that has destabilized Elite, the world's largest modeling agency. Elite's elite -- employees from around the world -- were meeting on the island of Ibiza, where the agency's owners, Alain Kittler, Grald Marie, and John Casablancas, all had summer homes. Boyd was sunbathing behind a stone wall when her idyll was interrupted by a loud argument. Lisa Herzog and Trudi Tapscott, two of the agency's top female executives, were angrily pleading with Casablancas and Marie to stop sleeping with underage models -- and they were having none of it.
"We are men," snapped Marie. "We have our needs."
"C'mon, Trudi, Lisa, relax," chimed in an unruffled Casablancas, a renowned Casanova.
"Go screw yourselves," the less polished Marie concluded. "Run your own life."
Needless to say, the women lost the argument. And Anderson Boyd soon decided she'd had enough of Elite, and quit her job.
In the past eight weeks, it's likely Grald Marie has wished he'd listened. In late November, he was the centerpiece of a BBC expos that's rocked the modeling business. Marie was surreptitiously filmed making plans to seduce very young models and venting his frustration when those plans didn't work out. Other footage showed a drug sale to a teenager by a Marilyn-agency staff member, the pimping of models in Milan, and the expression of racist views by another Elite executive, Xavier Moreau. A piece in this month's Talk magazine, harshly critical of the British documentary's underhanded reporting techniques, presented Marie as a martyr and victim -- but didn't do much to launder his reputation.
Though personally not implicated by the BBC documentary, John Casablancas knows its landscape intimately. In the eighties, he was at once the public face of Elite and another notorious admirer of young models. This magazine regularly covered his exploits, and in 1995, I wrote a book, Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women, that featured portraits of Casablancas and Marie that weren't very pretty. Casablancas threatened a lawsuit to stop it, and attacked me at every turn when he couldn't.
But now Casablancas has had a startling change of heart -- silence is no longer an option. Despite the flaws of the BBC film, which is at best disingenuous, if not dishonest, he acknowledges that it hits home. Sitting in his office near Gramercy Park, which is decorated in raw wood, brown leather, and southwestern textiles, Casablancas doesn't deny that he's slept with teenage models but insists, as he always has, that he's never knowingly made love to a girl under age 16.
Casablancas says that on Ibiza that day, he had sided with Marie so his partner wouldn't feel ganged up on. "Grald responded very violently," Casablancas says. "And I think he was right; he felt he wasn't doing anything particularly shocking; he wasn't forcing anyone into anything. It was Europeans saying to Americans, 'Don't be so Puritan.'
"To the Europeans, the episode in the BBC tape with the booker and drugs was shocking. For Americans, it's always young girls and sex, which is what they like to hear about."
But however dismissive Casablancas may be about Puritanical America, he's aware, finally, that the business he built and personifies is in some danger. So, on December 3, he faxed his competitors, proposing a code of ethics for the modeling trade. The code would ban models from working regularly until age 16; ban international travel without parental chaperones until age 17; institute a listing system for agencies that "are known for lenient attitudes towards drugs, drinking, and sexual promiscuity." It would mandate the immediate termination of any agency employees who have sex with underage models or are involved in the use or sale of drugs, and the immediate assignment of models with drug problems to rehab programs. Enforcing it would be an agreement among agencies not to take on models who'd rather switch managers than fight their addictions.
"I find that repulsive, and I've done it," Casablancas admits. "If you don't, someone else will."
Casablancas also suggests the industry institute a blacklist of clients who are known to use or promote drugs, and ban models under 17 from appearing nude in photography or on fashion runways. While the fax included a number of mea culpas -- references to "improper statements" made by Moreau and Marie on the BBC show and to "everybody's past failure, including ours" -- it also took sarcastic digs at Elite's competition. "We all know," he wrote, "none of your managers, directors, bookers, models, clients, etc., ever indulge in the use of any drugs, ever take young models to the nightclubs where drugs are easily available," and went on to pointedly mention "private screenings in your offices of the BBC program."
A competing agent confirms that competitors are circulating copies of the BBC tape. And though that agent thinks that "morals have changed, the business has changed, people are disgusted," he admits that competitors initially hooted down Casablancas's reform proposals.
"John was as bad as Grald," the agent says, "but he had a more elegant manner, and it was a different time. Of course he's right, but who is John to send a letter like that? Clean your closet before you try to clean everyone else's."
Casablancas responds with more sarcasm: "I smile when I see my 'judges' at the association." Casablancas names four actively heterosexual model managers. "I look at this and say, 'Give me a break.' "
Elite's internal politics, while somewhat less fractious than the company's relations with competitors, are just as complex. After the documentary aired, Marie and Moreau supposedly resigned from their positions. But I'd heard that, in fact, Marie (who still owns part of the company) continued to run Elite Europe from his Paris apartment.
"More or less right," admits Casablancas, who was a bitter professional rival of Marie's before they became partners. "Like him or not like him -- and I've never been a friend of Grald, we don't frequent the same people, we don't have the same lifestyle -- professionally, he is excellent."
As if you needed further proof of how far the Ford Agency has sunk, read this..but before you do, realize a few things:
1) this is the same law firm that won part of the lawsuit against Microsoft for the government, and,
2) they just won a huge lawsuit and Christies auction house.
These guys wont settle til they win.
Oh yeah, and dont think the sleaze that permeates the modeling industry has to be limited the boys. Katie Ford, whose incompetence has almost ruined what was once a great agency (are there any bookers whove been with Ford more than a few years- the answer is no because theyre all leaving for the hot new agencies that are eating Fords lunch) loves to flirt with the boys. Unfortunately, if youve looked at her, youll know why the male models arent exactly lining up to sleep their way to the top.
Unfortunately for poor Katie, she has more of her moms look than her once handsome dads. Pity.
So now Katie, in an effort to keep the struggling company afloat, is selling her soul. Shes planning to license the Ford name on anything and everything she can to make a few bucks. Portfolios, makeup, photographers are all giving kickbacks to Ford for all the models they shoot.
And Ford is notoriously bad about paying their models. A few top models get paid on time, but the rest have to wait weeks and sometimes months after Fords already been paid. Word is that Katie is swindling the money, and if you look deep enough in her past youll know its true.
So Katie fiddles while Ford burns. Nice. Hope she sleeps well at night while models starve waiting for their checks months after the clients have paid Ford.
HERES THE INTRO TO THE LAWSUIT..
Posted by: DIRECTOR
Please pass on to all models!
Antitrust Class-Action Lawsuit v. NY Modeling Agencies
Amanda Masters, Justin Klentner, Carolyn Fears, Lorelei Shellist,
Cheeseborough, and Carla Gross (d/b/a/ Sebastian Cardon), on their own
behalf, and on behalf of a class of similarly situated persons,
Wilhelmina Model Agency, Inc., a/k/a Wilhelmina Artist Management LLC,
Models, Inc., f/k/a Ford Model Agency, Elite Model Management, Inc.,
Model Management, Inc., Next Management Company, The MFME Management
Company, Ltd., a/k/a Company Management, Boss Models, Inc., and Zoli
PLAINTIFFS are represented by Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP, andJohnson &
It is an antitrust class action lawsuit against all of the major New York modeling agencies, including Ford, Wilhelmina and Elite, on behalf of all models who have ever worked in New York.
It seeks the return of all commissions paid to these agencies as well as all expenses reimbursed to these agencies for the past 30 years as a result of
their massive violations of the law.
Our NY co-counsel on the case, the law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner
LLP, recently settled an antitrust case against auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's for $512 million. They also represented the US Government in victory in its antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft.
-- Attorney Brian Rishwain, Johnson & Rishwain, LLP
Before we talk about what the potential death of IMG head Mark McCormack would have on the agency (ummm, devastating!), let me remind everyone of the fine expose HBO did on the company a little while back. Basically this so-called agency was charging kids tens of thousands of dollars to go to their tennis and sports camps, many of whom had no chance of even getting a scholarship, let alone big endorsement deals. Bryant Gumbel ripped them a new one, almost as good as McCormacks ex-wife did in their divorce settlement.
MARK McCORMACK REMAINS HOSPITALIZED IN NEW YORK from IMG website
IMG and the family of Mark H. McCormack are very grateful for the ongoing concern and support they have received since he suffered cardiac arrest in January.
Without being cruel, and we hope for his recovery, lets just say that if he dies this will be one pathetic, rudderless ship. The party atmosphere and obnoxious dealings of many agents that Mr. McCormack struggled to keep under control will take over and watch this big sports agency (that tries to dabble in modeling) begin to fade.
Saying that Karin Models Miami Director Jeff Fuller has a cocaine problem is like saying Elite head pervert John Casablancas likes em a little young. Jeff is well known on the Miami party circuit with his way too unbuttoned silk shirts, dropping names and giving air kisses to anyone and everyone who will listen. But its at the midnight hour that he becomes the life of the party. With his little eight balls, he is the king of coke. How do you think Karins Models stay so thin, darling?
Well known among Miami bookers and some models, Jeffs coke habit has kept him from moving to New York or Paris where there is 12 months of work, not 8 or 9 like in Miami.
Metropolitan, with its French connections, is known as the agency that whores out its models better than almost any other agency. When the girls (victims) arrive in Paris, they are met at the airport by chaperones from the agency. The irony is that the chaperones are usually the first ones to try to screw the models. Theyll invite them to stay in their apartments until they get settled in town, and you can only imagine what goes on after that. If a girl complains that shes gaining weight, her chaperone finds the wonder weight loss drug (cocaine) and presto, the girl is hooked on drugs and a free apartment with her chaperone.
Metropolitan is not very well known or well respected in the industry. Where the other agencies have offices throughout the US, they have 1 tiny one. And their Paris office is little more than a whorehouse, moving new girls in for the chaperones and the high rollers who frequent Paris and Monaco. The bookers are the pimps. It would make Michel Levaton the owner, proud.
"In 1981 Houston was not a fashion or entertainment city... said Page Parkes-Eveleth, owner of the not so prestigious Texas glamour pageant/modeling agency known as Page Parkes. HEY HONEY, BAD NEWS FOR YA. Houston still isnt considered by anybody who doesnt have big ol Texas hair, a fashion city. Unless boots and Wrangler jeans are suddenly back in.
If you want your daughter to learn how to tease her hair 10 inches high, or waste 3 or 4 thousand bucks on a scam modeling camp (while the same owner is on tv telling people never to spend money on modeling SCHOOLS as if somehow 3,000 bucks on a camp is different because she doesnt use the word school), then this is your place.
Best viewed as a modeling school with some bookings in the glamorous fashion meccas of Dallas and Houston, and great for training pageant queens, PP has yet to be taken seriously in New York or in its tiny office in Miami.
WILHELMINA MODEL MANAGEMENT
Wilhelmina has no shame. There is nothing more common in the modeling industry than stealing models or bookers from other agencies. The irony is that one of the big cheeses at Wilhelmina, Ray Lata, was stolen illegally from Next Models. Next tried to sue but unsuccessfully. But thats not irony- this is. When 3 Wilhelmina bookers left to go to competing agencies, Wilhelmina sued THEM. HELLO- isnt that the pot calling the kettle black!! NO SHAME!! Truly a pathetic display of chutzpah to say the least. The agency is funded by a sugar daddy who basically gave the agency to his daughter after Wilhelmina Cooper died. Apparently it has yet to regain the class it had under Ms. Cooper.
U.S.A.Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Wilhelmina