Model agency bars staff over sex claims

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The Independent Online
SENIOR EXECUTIVES have been barred from contact with an agency's models amid allegations that girls as young as 13 were pressured into sex and drugs. A spokesman at Elite, which represents supermodels Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, said action was taken after an undercover BBC crew captured the astonishing "confessions" of fashion insiders.

Gerald Marie, Elite's European president and ex-husband of Linda Evangelista, was filmed propositioning investigator Lisa Brinkworth when she posed as a model, she said. "I give you one million lire (pounds 300) if you sleep with me," he is said to have told her.

Mr Marie also told fellow investigator Donal MacIntyre he wanted to seduce finalists from the Elite Model Look contest whose average age is 15, the BBC said. The film, on BBC1 today as part of the MacIntyre Undercover series, also includes evidence that men employed to ferry models around force drugs on them.

Xavier Moreau, president of the competition, said: "We deeply apologise if we have offended anyone by talking crudely. We are French and it is not the same as in England. They filmed people for 18 months and the comments are out of context."