Report: #151210

Complaint Review: John Casablancas

  • Submitted: Mon, July 25, 2005
  • Updated: Wed, October 06, 2010
  • Reported By: Orange California
  • John Casablancas
    Orange, California




Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I took my twins to one of their "group evaluations". I felt uneasy about the interview. One of the owners Josh Leichtung told me that for $8,000 per child I was guaranteed a walk on role on the next Charlie and the Chocolate factory Film. When I told Josh that $16,000 for the two girl was a lot of money he said

"Your kids are what every director and producer dreams of. They will be big stars, HUGE!!! bigger than JLO. I have a special running today 50% off the price. How about it?"

Talk about hight pressure sales!

When I told my husband about the John Casablancas experience he decided to check them out. My husband works for the Buena Park Police Department.

The two owners Josh Leichtung and Christine Nolden are non-violent criminals.

Josh Leichtung worked for Selective Software INC. In 1997 he was fired and investigated. The charges were embezzlement and theft of public funds. In 1998 Josh Leichtung was sentenced and served 22 months in the Edinburgh Correctional Facility.

Josh Leichtung has not seen the last of his legal ramificatons. Even after completing the full prison sentence, probation and $43,000 in fines the Securities and Exchange Commission seeks to prevent Josh Leichtung from returning to CEO of any other public company.

That is why he now opened John Casablancas in Orange County.

Christine Nolden was arrested in 1992 for Impersonation Fraud in Las Vegas. She was arrested twice in Huston,Texas for non-sufficient funds, check forgery, frodulent use of stolen credit cards and fradulently obtained credit cards.

She has fled to Germany numerous times to avoid trial. Due to the fact that these are minor offences she comes back to the United States and starts a new scheme. When the authorities get involved she moves back to Berlin, Germany where she is from.

Christine Nolden also has a criminal record in South Africa. She owned a modeling school in Cape Town, South Africa where she riped off children for three years before closing out.

Whatever you do DO NOT GIVE THESE CRIMINALS MONEY!!! How are they allowed to operate in Orange County?

My husband is forewarding these reports to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Belive me in six months these people will be gone.

If you had a similar experience report it to Michael S. Carona operation Santa Ana at

Thank You ripoffreport


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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/25/2005 03:43 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds


AUTHOR: JoshL - (United States of America)

Smart, honest, caring people will read further and learn the truth and disregard this libelous trash. This character assassination is a huge LIE.

These lies have irreparably, and unjustly hurt Josh Leichtung and his family.  Please dont believe the scam artists trying to hurt me and my family.

I hope future employers will take an extra moment to learn the truth, easily proven through reliable online sources referenced below such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the State of California.

Truth-Josh Leichtung NOT A FELON
JOSH LEICHTUNG IS NOT A FELON, NOR HAS HE EVER BEEN ACCUSED OF ANY CRIME (save the odd speeding ticket). I have never been in any jail, prison, detention center, or any other kind of detainment center, save touring Alcatraz Island National Park one afternoon a few years ago with out of town relatives. None.  Sorry. Not very exciting!



Simply go to the actual prison website in which this supposed incarceration took place and check!


Go to the Security & Exchange Commission website and do a search on Leichtung.


No records in either place.  Do you believe the government institutions publicly available data, or fabrications?  YOU CAN CHECK ANY AND ALL GOVERNMENT DATABASES OR REPUTABLE NEWSPAPERS AND FIND NOTHING!!!!  The reason you wont find anything is simple. There is nothing to find!


I hate people who try to rip off people and their kids.  Who wouldnt?  The truth just isnt that exciting.  The truth is that Josh Leichtung is just a guy whose dream was to help kids achieve their dreams of being a model or an actor. Now, this is having irreparable damage to my reputation and my family's well being.




Unfortunately, yes, there are modeling and acting schools that are rip-offs.  OC John Casablancas was not one of those rip-offs. Thats exactly why I didnt tolerate any lying at my company.  Those rip-off places like to spread lies about the honest people out there.  Unfortunately, they took aim at me.


In order to rise above the dishonest scam artists that get all this negative press, I went through considerable expense getting my John Casablancas office ACCREDITED AND APPROVED by THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA BUREAU OF PRIVATE POSTSECONDARY & VOCATIONAL EDUCATION. I also became a licensed teacher.



According to state law I believe both the school and myself personally would be denied a license for being a felon.  Heres MORE PROOF, the California Code: 

Character assassinations are serious. I wouldnt wish it on anybody. So please continue reading this and decide for yourself.


My lawyers advice was to not respond to these accusations because they would just get higher in search engine listings if I responded. Well Im sorry I didnt respond immediately, because these lies are still on top some search engine results, even after the OC John Casablancas office closed.



OUR PRICES WERE A SMALL FRACTION OF THE AMOUNT this person was allegedly quoted. Our accounting records can verify that if anyone is interested.



LYING WAS NOT TOLERATED, AND RESULTED IN EMPLOYEE TERMINATION. One employee was fired for a misleading phone conversation I overheard. This is an excerpt from our Employee Manual.

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#2 Consumer Suggestion


AUTHOR: Janis - (U.S.A.)

I am so upset right now that I was just about to give them money for my son to take their classes. I read this complaint and now I know that I was right to follow my gut feeling. I tried to place a response but I don't think it worked, so here I am again.

I saw Jack henderson there, Josh Leichtung and Christine Nolden. She really was pushy about my son taking the classes. I found a school for my son in Buena Park and I hope that the info I gave in the response before went through but I'm not sure. I really wanted for my son to take acting classes over the summer.

I got out of there (JohnCasablancas Orange County)after meeting with Jack Henderson, Josh Leichtung and Christine Nolden, and I started doing searches on the net. I found out that Jack Henderson and Josh Leichtung are friends with John Casablancas. Here is what I found out about John Casablancas:

"LOS ANGELES - A former teen model has filed suit claiming that the founder of one of the world's leading model management agencies lured her into a sexual relationship when she was 15.
The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against the Elite Modeling Agency and its founder, John Casablancas, according to the model's lawyer Raymond P. Boucher.

Boucher would not name his client, now a 30-year-old mother of two living in San Diego. She is identified in the complaint as Jane Doe.
Boucher said Casablancas inveigled the model into a relationship by acting as a Svengali-like figure and making her think she was his muse. When she became pregnant while still a minor, Casablancas arranged for her to have an abortion, the suit claims. Jane Doe 44 v. Defendant Doe 1, BC286674 (L.A. Super. Ct., filed Dec. 9, 2002).

"For far too many years, certain adult individuals in the modeling industry have sexually preyed upon underage models," the lawsuit claims.

"All the while defendants knew such vile practices were occurring, and even participated in the practices, yet failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of these children and to prevent future acts of molestation," it adds.
The suit, claiming childhood sexual abuse, sexual battery and breach of fiduciary duty among other things, seeks general and punitive damages and medical expenses. The defendants' names have not been made public in the court filing because a court rule requires a judge to first review and approve a certificate of merit from a health care professional that it's probable that the conduct actually occurred.
Included in the filing is a certificate of merit from Helen Grusd, a mental health practitioner in Beverly Hills, who says "there is a reasonable basis to believe that plaintiff, Jane Doe 44, as a child, was sexually abused."
Elite's Beverly Hills office referred calls to its headquarters in New York. Calls made to New York were not returned. Casablancas could not be reached.

Elite represents such supermodels as Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford and books print work for major fashion magazines like Vogue and Mademoiselle.

"These are 13-, 14-, 15- and 16-year-old girls, who are promised the world and told they're the most beautiful things that existed on the planet," Boucher, of Beverly Hill's Kiesel Boucher & Larson, said.

"These men ... control their lives. They could have anyone ... and they're falling all over you. It's a very seductive situation," he added.
Boucher said his client does not want to be publicly identified because she is having a difficult time coping.

"She's not in a position to sit [her children] down and explain what happened," Boucher said.
The lawsuit comes three years after a British Broadcasting Corp. expose on the seedy side of the modeling industry, which contended that teens are often introduced into a world of alcohol, drugs and sex.

The documentary caused the resignation of the chief of Elite's European operations, Gerald Marie, the former husband of model Linda Evangelista. Marie was caught on tape saying he hoped to seduce contestants in the Elite Model Look contest. The average age of the contestants was 15.

Marie contended at the time his comments were empty boasts. He could not be reached for comment by press time.

Following the broadcast, Elite brought a libel action against the BBC. In June 2001, the two sides settled; the BBC admitted it had mischaracterized the agency and made a public declaration that Elite seeks to protect its young models.

Elite admitted that some inappropriate sexual remarks were made by some of its executives. No money changed hands in the settlement, according to news reports.

"This is a part of the industry that it's assumed that it goes on and nobody talks about it," said Boucher, who has brought a number of lawsuits over alleged molestation by priests.
"I guess it's similar to what happened in the Catholic Church - authorities will turn a blind eye," he said "They have to be put on notice ... until these young children can be put in a position where they can do or say something about it," Boucher added.

The plaintiff claims she became involved with Casablancas after being signed to a one-year modeling contract with Elite in 1988 when she was 15.

She claims she and Casablancas had several sexual encounters in Japan, Brazil and New York.
"He certainly made her believe she was the apple of his eye; that she was the object of his affection and showered her with gifts," Boucher said.

"But the first time it happened, she was weakened with alcohol. She's around one of the most powerful men in the world and he took advantage of her," he said.

While in New York, the plaintiff learned she was pregnant, the suit contends, and Casablancas told her she would have an abortion. She was driven to the appointment by Monique Pillard, who was then the President of Elite, and Pillard's husband, the suit contends.
Pillard is not named in the suit. She could not be reached for comment.

After the abortion, the plaintiff returned to California and continued to model in Japan until about 1990.

Casablancas has long been in the public eye linked to various youthful supermodels, including Stephanie Seymour.

In 1993, the self-described playboy married 17-year-old Elite model Aline Wermelinger, a Brazilian high-school junior who participated in Elite's Look of the Year contest in Rio.
Boucher said his client is filing suit now because she "thinks it's important that the public realize our young children have been victimized for many years in all segments of society."

He added: "It's time for all of us to step up and do all we can to protect our children from future abuse and molestation."

Boucher said he represents several other former models who may be filing similar suits in the near future."


"Casablancas has long been in the public eye linked to various youthful
supermodels, including Stephanie Seymour.

In 1993, the self-described playboy [then 49] married 17-year-old Elite model Aline
Wermelinger, a Brazilian high-school junior who participated in Elite's Look
of the Year contest in Rio.

Boucher said his client is filing suit now because she "thinks it's
important that the public realize our young children have been victimized
for many years in all segments of society."

He added: "It's time for all of us to step up and do all we can to protect
our children from future abuse and molestation."

Boucher said he represents several other former models who may be filing
similar suits in the near future.
John Casablancas is named in the class-action lawsuit by models who believe they were scammed by price-fixing. Casablancas is specifically singled out, quoted as saying, "there is no point doing it unless it is secret":
Defendants have claimed that this variation in pricing among models who earn different amounts reflects the absence of a conspiracy, but Defendants' own statements show that the opposite is true when such discounts began, Defendants sought to conceal them from the models and from each other, so as not to be seen to be undercutting the standard rate. Thus John Casablancas of Elite was quoted referring to rates lower than 20% as follows: "Everybody does it. But there is no point doing it unless it is secret. When we started we had telephones and nothing else. It was spooky. A few of the top girls got a . . . discount." (emphasis added) This kind of covert variation from a standard price is flatly contrary to what one would expect in a competitive market and exactly consistent with the existence of an industry-wide agreement on prices that individual defendants might opportunistically violate to keep a particularly lucrative account."

I am so greatful for the previous complaint and I also want to thank the Ripoff Report. Needless to say that I never gave Jack Henderson, Josh Leichtung and Christine Nolden my credit card after I read all this. I don't have a daughter but I'm not going to take my son to these people either and that's for sure. They should be put in jail where they belong.
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