While we sometimes hear rumors about what happens on casting couches — it’s even being touted as a story line in the upcoming CW show “The Beautiful Life” — it’s not often we actually learn of someone taking advantage of women trying to make it in tough industries.
Today, fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander, who was convicted of 14 counts, including forcible rape, will be sentenced in Los Angeles Superior Court for casting couch-related crimes.During the trial, prosecutors said Alexander found women online, promised them modeling work, and then fondled and raped them in his Beverly Hills home. His victims ranged in age from 14 to 21 years old.
Prosecutors asked that Alexander be imprisoned for the maximum amount possible under the law, which could mean life in prison. And this sentence isn’t the only one he could get. Alexander is under indictment in New York on similar charges involving nine women.
Alexander started his own fashion line in 1999, after graduating from the Parsons School of Design in New York. The designer’s hand-printed jeans sold for $700 a pair, he was featured on “America’s Next Top Model,” and his work was worn by the likes of Paris Hilton and Mary J. Blige. So, while he might not be a household name, it’s not like he was even a complete hack simply posing as a fashion designer to take advantage of women.
It’s incredible to me that he was able to get away with it for so long. Did he think forcing young, often underage girls to have sex with him was an acceptable form of hazing, or a toll to enter the industry? With this case’s verdict, I hope other men in the entertainment and fashion industries will realize it is no longer acceptable (if it ever was in the first place) to convince women they have to sleep with them in order to succeed in the industry — and that aspiring models and actresses will learn that getting taken advantage of is not a price they have to pay in order to get cast. [AP]