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    ‘Too Big’? Size 2 Model Cleirys Velasquez Sues Agency For ‘Body Shaming’ – Report

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    The XS-sized model says her “heavy-set” agent kept putting her through weight checks and blocked her off clients, while also giving her a race-based nickname.

    Cleirys Velasquez, a model who previously worked for Maybelline, Aveda and Mary Kay, filed a lawsuit against the Marilyn Model Management firm, saying her agent kept “body shaming” her for being “too big” and forcing her to undergo unusually frequent weight and measurement checks, The Daily Beast reported Friday.

    According to the report, Velasquez claims her agent, Maria Cognata, told her she was “too big” to model and blocked her from being available to clients. The report says Cognata, whom The Daily Beast characterizes as “heavy-set”, told Velasquez she made her look “thin and small” in comparison.

    “It was just always her measuring me, always letting me know that I was too big for her,” the model told The Daily Beast. “It would be stuff like you’re too big, we can’t let you go and see this person, or we can’t have you work.”

    According to the modelling agency’s website, Velazquez’s measurements are 33'' at bust, 24’’ at waist and 34’’ at hips, and her dress size is US 2, which converts to XS.

    ​The complaint cited by the report says Cognata quickly made it known that she “hated” Velasquez and took to calling her “cha-cha girl”, an apparent jab at her Latin American heritage.

    “Sometimes it would really make me doubt myself, make me hate myself,” Velasquez said. “My self-confidence would get hit so hard I would have to try to breathe and say, ‘No, you know she’s not right’”.
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    When Velasquez had had enough, she switched to rival modelling agency One Management. In response, Marilyn filed a lawsuit against One, accusing the competitor of “stealing” Velasquez, and of being in breach of a non-solicitation clause. The lawsuit names Derek Saathoff, a former Marilyn agent who defected to One in 2018, as the one who persuaded Velasquez and at least five other models to join One Management. Saathoff and One Management deny the allegations.

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    “[Velasquez] left on her own accord, by her own choosing,” said attorney Joshua Blum, who represents all three. “Neither Derek Saathoff nor One did anything improper.”

    According to The Daily Beast, Marilyn is also in a legal battle with at least three other agencies over model snatching, but One Management has also sued competitors in what is considered by industry observers to be a standard practice in the modelling business.

    Marilyn reportedly provided no comment on the issue and Cognata claimed that she had not seen the lawsuit.


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