British journalist, Lisa Brinkworth, has been investigating abuse in the modelling industry for over twenty years. Her exposés have appeared in The Sunday Times, Times, Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday. She is best known for her 1999 BBC documentary that revealed the scale of systemic abuse in the industry. Lisa uncovered disturbing truths and witnessed the inappropriate conduct of bookers and agents towards young models. In the course of filming, Lisa herself was sexually assaulted by Gerald Marie, the former President of Elite, Paris.
After the programme received worldwide plaudits and the agency was shamed into improving its work culture, Elite sued the BBC. An out of court settlement, which Lisa vehemently opposed, meant that the programme and her evidence were buried along with the hopes of young models for a safer working environment. For another two decades, models remained unprotected and unsafe.
Through talking with countless victims of industry abuse and exploitation, Lisa has sought to put right past wrongs. Having been silenced herself for two decades, she joined other survivors to form Victorious Angels – We Rise, to provide support to victims coming forward and to speak out against industry abuse. She is now one of an alleged seventeen victims of Gerald Marie who have reported rape and sexual assault to the French authorities. A criminal investigation is underway.
Last year, Lisa joined other survivors at the French Senate to present our stories to lawmakers and explain why French laws must be amended to ensure that industry abuse stops with us. While change might come too late for us, we hope to pave the way for safer futures for generations of women. It has been a long journey and Lisa remains dedicated to seeing justice served for all victims.
Ebba P. Karlsson is a Transformational Life Coach and the Founder of True Star Coaching™. She is the author of the inspirational memoir True Starlight, From Hiding in the Shadows to Being Stellar, where she shares her courage, strength, and spiritual journey through life in her book.
She was born in Sweden and was just twenty years old when she travelled to France to spread her wings as a model. Tragically, she was raped by a modelling scout and assaulted by Elite Model’s then-owner, Gerald Marie. Her modelling career was short-lived because of these horrific incidents, but today she has turned her suffering into leadership as one of the co-founders of Victorious Angels.
Since mid 90” she has been working on healing herself to help others heal and has been running her own business’s involving health, spiritual guidance, meditation, holistic therapies, personal self-development, and personal leadership. She also holds certifications in different coaching and healing modalities such as QSCA, Quantum Success Coaching Academy, ICF, The International Coaching Federation,OSHO Risk Therapist Training, Common Medicine, Massage therapist, and Biofeedback Practitioner. Besides speaking her mother language Swedish, she is fluent in English, Spanish, and French.
Graduated from the prestigious University of Paris II Pantheon-Assas with an extra degree in criminology, Anne-Claire Le Jeune has been a member of the Paris Bar for more than 10 years, specializing in criminal law.
She quickly became involved in the defence of victims, mainly minors, of violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape.
After observing the functioning of the Alliance for Children’s Rights in LA, she was for 8 years a member of the Board of Directors and the Legal Committee of the Association Innocence in Danger in France.
She accompanies survivors at all stages of criminal and civil proceedings, and in a wide variety of fields (including sports, modelling, cinema…).
Anne-Claire Le Jeune has recently worked internationally in support of the survivors of Jean-Luc Brunel after the opening of an investigation in relation to the Jeffrey Epstein case, and of supporting the survivors of Gerald Marie in the so-called ELITE case. She succeeds in having a preliminary investigation opened by the Prosecutor.
She also frequently a keynote speaker in conferences about sexual violence and the victims voice in our society.
Anne-Claire Le Jeune is also a member of the Jury for the Paris Bar Examination.
Survivors interested in filing a report may contact Anne-Clair Le Jeune directly at +33 6 18 95 43 31.
Laurie Marsden is a psychotherapist, social worker, writer and women’s advocate. She has written for the Los Angles Times, O Magazine, and Mama Mia. Laurie has told her story of assault at the hands of Gerald Marie to multiple media outlets, hoping others will be protected. She has worked to change laws in NY State and also presented to the French Senate regarding statute of limitation laws in the EU.
A former top model in the 80s and 90s, Laurie graced the covers of Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Town & Country and worked for designers including Gucci and Valentino.
Laurie is also a breast cancer survivor and is passionate about supporting domestic violence shelters including the Retreat in Easthampton, sexual assault survivors and women’s health. Based on her work with women as a psychotherapist for 24 years, she developed an online self-help therapy program called the 8 Steps to Becoming You. As part of her advocacy work, Laurie gave speeches at the Women’s Marches in Sag Harbor, one published by the Sag Harbor Express. She also Chairs a Committee for the 1754 Society at Columbia University, where she received her Bachelor and Masters degrees, both with honors.