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Firsthand account of casting couch in showbiz

...say fashion designers seeking sexual favours from models. It’s here that the fashion industry isn’t too proud matching steps with Bollywood. What happens behind the glitz and glamour of the ramp can shock even the boldest.

entertainment Updated: Sep 05, 2009 13:01 IST

It’s here that the fashion industry isn’t too proud matching steps with Bollywood. What happens behind the glitz and glamour of the ramp can shock even the boldest.

Model-turned-actor Aryan Vaid reveals, “Casting couch is a reality of the fashion world, it happens all the time. Once, I was auditioning for a show and the designers asked me to strip for them and wear something kinky. It was so direct. Another time, this bigshot offered me money to sleep with a politician in Delhi.”

Vivan Bhatena, model and ex-Mr India concurs, “My model friends often tell me they have to drop their pants every time they walk the ramp.” Model Bruna Abdullah (of Brazilian origin) says, “It happened to me, too... I’ve also heard a male designer asking a young boy to sleep with him if he wanted work.”

Young aspiring models testify ‘sex for work’ as being a common demand. A 25-year-old ex-model recounts, “I met a producer for a show on TV and he asked me to accompany him to Nainital ‘to spend some time’. I backed off.”

A Delhi designer who’s a part of a designer duo, says, “A famous male model fled to Mumbai as he was being harassed by a leading gay designer in Delhi who threatened to ruin his career if he didn’t give him sexual favours. Everyone in the fraternity knows them.”

He further adds that another model went to a leading Delhi designer, known for his flamboyant image, and was asked to sleep with him before the auditions. The model even complained to the head of the fashion council organising the auditions but was told that they are helpless.