TV model agency executives quit

Two senior executives at leading model agency Elite have resigned after an undercover TV documentary alleged that girls as young as 13 were pressured to have sex and take drugs.

Two senior executives at leading model agency Elite have resigned after an undercover TV documentary alleged that girls as young as 13 were pressured to have sex and take drugs.

Gerald Marie, president of Elite Europe, and Xavier Moreau, president of Elite Model Look, have both had their resignations accepted by the Elite board of directors, the agency announced.

Mr Marie, ex-husband of model Linda Evangelista, was filmed propositioning investigator Lisa Brinkworth when she posed as a model in Tuesday night's programme, screened on BBC1 as part of the MacIntyre Undercover series.

Mr Marie also told fellow investigator Donal MacIntyre, posing as a photographer, he was planning to seduce finalists from the Elite Model Look contest whose average age is just 15, said the BBC, which made the film.

The Elite agency, which represents supermodels Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, launched an investigation into the allegations and, on Wednesday, Elite chairman John Casablancas said several senior executives had been suspended and ordered to explain themselves.

In a statement, he offered an "unreserved apology" for the behaviour displayed by his staff in the documentary on what he called "some of the darkest aspects of the modelling industry".

The film featured a string of astonishing "confessions" from fashion world insiders, including staff from the agency.

It also included evidence that men employed to ferry young models around were forcing drugs on them without the knowledge of the agencies involved.

Elite said Mr Moreau would be replaced by Thierry Grin, a Swiss attorney with the company in New York, and that Mr Marie's replacement would be announced in the near future.

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