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Victoria’s Secret Angel Sara Sampaio is coming forward with her own story about being violated in the fashion industry.
The Portuguese model took to Instagram on Thursday to share her recent experience with French men’s magazine Lui.
“I want every model and every woman to know they have the right to make their own choices about their body and image,” she began in a series of notes that were posted as a slideshow on her Instagram.
“I had agreed to shoot the cover feature of Lui‘s autumn issue, under the condition that there was NO NUDITY,” wrote Sampaio. “My agency and I insisted on having a clear agreement in place to protect myself in order to control the choice I made around not being shot nude.”
Sampaio wrote that despite a “no nudity” clause, she was “aggressively pressured to do nude shots on set, asking me why I didn’t want to show my nipples or go fully nude.” While reviewing the final images, she said she noticed there were parts of her body that she didn’t want exposed and spoke up about it, but she was told those photos wouldn’t be used. Lui magazine ended up publishing a nude cover of her.
“Like so many models, I’ve had negative experiences in the past where I felt pressured to pose nude,” she stated. “On many occasions where the shoot was to not have nudity, I would arrive on set and the photographer or stylist would pressure, cajole or demand that I pose nude because I had done it in the past.” When she would refuse, she was “judged as being difficult.”
Sampaio continued: “Just because I’ve consented to posing nude in the past, it does not give anyone the permission to assume I would do it again under any circumstance. I have the right to show my body how, when, where and for whatever purpose I choose. It’s my choice.”
The 26-year-old noted that she is working with her agency and attorney to pursue legal action against Lui.
“I want to do what I can to prevent this from happening to me again, and to others,” she concluded, adding, “As models and as women, we need to stand together and demand the respect we deserve. We have the right to make our own individual choices about our bodies, our image, and our lives.”
Sampaio’s story comes on the heels of model Cameron Russell sharing anonymous models’ stories of sexual abuse in the fashion industry and labor advocacy group Model Alliance stating that “sexual harassment, abuse, and assault have no place in the creative process.”
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