FASHION LAW: MODEL FILES CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST TRUMP AGENCY
Recent headlines have depicted models in a new light as forces to be reckoned with on and off the catwalk. Alexia Palmer is following suit of fellow model Ginta Lapina, who earlier this month fired back against former agency Women NY with a lawsuit of her own asserting the company owes her $1 million in unpaid fees. Similarly, Palmer is arguing that Donald Trump’s modeling agency stiffed her out of more than $200,000 in salary wages while simultaneously breaking immigration laws.
The 21-year-old Jamaican bombshell filed a class-action lawsuit last Thursday in Manhattan federal court indicting the modeling agency for numerous violations including racketeering, violating wage laws for immigrants, breach of contract and mail fraud. As outlined in the suit, Palmer stated that Trumps agency lied to the federal government by documenting on her work visa application that Palmer would be paid $75,000 yearly during her time in the US.
Instead of the $75,000 salary Palmer should have been receiving, she worked exclusively for Trump Model Management from 2011- 2013, and during that time only received $3,880 after the agency deducted a 20% handling fee and other “insignificant expenses.” Palmer attributed that those expenses were placed on dermatology bills, walking lessons, and limo rides: all dubbed as “required expenses” by the company.
Palmer’s lawyer, Naresh Gehi, declared that his client’s rights were miserably violated as she was charged for postage and makeup kits, sent to a dermatologist upon the agency’s recommendation and asked to take walking lessons, all at her own expense.
Gehi seemed confident that his case will prevail; however, Trump Organization EVP and general counsel, Alan Garten, called Palmer’s claims “frivolous and bogus” and claimed the $75,000 figure was simply an estimate and not part of any binding contract. “We’re a modeling agency, not an employment agency,” Garten said. “Had she been more successful as a model, she would have made more money.”