Canadian fashion model Linda Evangelista fell victim to a predatory modelling agency when she was a teenager. Offered a modelling contract for the summer by a Japanese agency when she was just 16, the 57-year-old supermodel quickly left when they tried to force her into taking nude pictures, reports aceshowbiz.com.
“I arrived, and there wasn’t anyone to collect me. I was so lost and obviously I didn’t have a cell phone. I went to the agency and it was all, ‘take your clothes off, we need your measurements,’ but they already had my measurements,” Evangelista told the September issue of British Vogue.
“They wanted me naked and it wasn’t a ‘would you do nudes’ conversation, it was a ‘you will do nudes.’ I left and called my mother and she said, ‘Get out now and get to the embassy’. So that’s what I did, and they got me home.”
Evangelista’s career took off in 1990 and she became one of the most famous supermodels in the world, racking up over 60 magazine covers.
The fashionista admitted that she didn’t always take care of herself as she tried to keep up with the hectic lifestyle but she says she never took drugs as she was “terrified” of them.
She said: “How did I keep going? This is the truth: I was young. You could go out and eat salty fried food and drink Champagne, sleep at 3 a.m. and be up again at 5 a.m. Drugs were offered to me, but I never touched them, I’m not saying I was an angel but I was terrified of drugs.”
Evangelista quickly discovered how to stand up for herself, when it came to being paid.
She said: “I had the power of being able to hold out. That’s all it came down to. But also, I was thinking about different industries. Athletes aren’t all paid the same – some are paid more for what they bring to the game. It wasn’t a matter of thinking I was better but I knew my worth.”