In her new memoir, Beauty Disrupted, supermodel turned plus sized model Carre Otis reveals all the details of her traumatic rise to fame, including her heart-wrenching rape at the hands of Gérald Marie, her agent at the time, Linda Evangelista‘s ex-husband, and the head of Elite Paris, one of the world’s most prestigious modeling agencies.
Marie, who resigned from the agency in 1999 after a BBC reporter taped him bragging about how many girls he was going to sleep with at an upcoming Elite Model Look competition, has also been accused of rape by Karen Mulder, though he was never charged.
Otis was living with Marie at the time, who was in his mid-40s and engaged to Evangelista. (Jezebel’s Jenna Sauers notes, “It is still not considered unusual for young models to be placed with their agency bosses. They have the rent deducted from whatever they earn.”) This is how Otis describes her rape in the book:
Hours later something woke me suddenly. I heard the drunken shuffling of feet moving down the hallway toward me. Filled with alarm, I pulled the covers up around my head. But in a flash my safe haven was invaded and I was exposed.
Gérald stood above me, ripping the covers from the bed. Before I could react, his sticky body was on me and those disgusting wet ringlets of his were falling on my face. I pushed back, but I could barely breathe with the weight of him pressing down on me. I cried out, a lame attempt to shake him from what seemed like a drunken stupor. I could smell gin on his breath as he harshly pushed his mouth onto mine, a sharp tongue darted out, trying to open my pursed lips in a grotesque kiss. The smell of him made me want to vomit. The fury in me made me want to throw him off me. But in my naked, fevered state, I couldn’t seem to find the strength or the leverage to move him aside. Gérald seemed all too expert at getting what he wanted, and in the tangle of my naked legs and pleas and cries his hand found my mouth and clamped down, trying to silence me. Why even bother? I wondered. I knew we were alone. And I knew that even if I were to fight back and scream, no one would hear me. No one would come.
Gérald proceeded to viciously penetrate my body, his grunts and groans mixed with the sound of the rain that had begun to pound the tiny window in that tiny room. My thoughts drifted to his little daughter sleeping in this same bed. How could he do this here? Then I thought of the other models who were temporarily housed in this room. I fleetingly wondered if I might not be the first girl to be violated in this strange place. I cried silently as well as out loud. I cried a river. I cried while the rains fell steadily outside. I became the rain. I became the room. I disappeared in the awful endless rocking.
I remember the horrific feeling of his penis sliding out of me, the wetness that told me he had come inside me. I remember nausea welling up, and then the involuntary gagging that began as he stood, looked down at me, then turned and stumbled out of the room.
She was 17.
In response to a request for comment by Vogue UK, Elite said, “Elite London re-opened under new management in 2009, by which time Gerald Marie had already left the Elite Network, so I’m afraid we are not in a position to comment on this story.”