AceShowbiz - Veteran supermodel Linda Evangelista has jumped to the defence of the accusers claiming her former husband sexually assaulted and raped them.
Gerald Marie, the former president of the European division of Elite Model Management, is currently under investigation in France after several women accused him of inappropriate behaviour and rape, and Linda is siding with the alleged victims.
"During my relationship with Gerald Marie, I knew nothing of these sexual allegations against him, so I was unable to help these women," Linda, who was married to Marie from 1987 until 1993, told The Guardian in a new interview.
"Hearing them now, and based on my own experiences, I believe that they are telling the truth. It breaks my heart because these are wounds that may never heal, and I admire their courage and strength for speaking up today."
Gerard has denied all the charges against him and "intends to actively participate in the manifestation of the truth within the scope of the opened criminal investigation," according to his lawyers.
One of the accusers is Wendy Walsh, who now works as a radio host. She met Gerard when she was 17. "I was young, I was naive, and I had stars in my eyes," she told The Guardian. "I was not scared one little bit, because I trusted all the adults who were going to take care of me and make me a famous model."
She said she was anally raped by Gerard at his apartment. "It hurt and I remember one thing distinctly: I buried my face in the pillow and said, 'No.' It smelled of somebody else's perfume," she recalled.
When she met Gerard again at the agency, he shamed her in front of his male friend. "He was pointing to me and laughing," she says. "It was the most humiliating moment."