Former Miss British Columbia Claire Robinson has sued talent agency International Creative Management, claiming the firm and one of its top agents subjected her to unwanted sexual advances.
The lawsuit filed May 19 in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges ICM and agent Jack Gilardi took the aspiring actress under its wing, known as “hip-pocketing,” and sexually exploited her.
Robinson claims she was sent to auditions that did not exist or for parts that were not available to her.
She says one of Gilardi’s friends, John Rockwell, introduced her to the agent and in 2008 threatened and raped her. Rockwell is not affiliated with ICM but is named in the suit.
She also claims Gilardi touched her inappropriately en route to an awards show in 2007.
ICM has denied any wrongdoing and Rockwell has denied the allegations through his lawyer.
“Ms. Robinson’s allegations are completely baseless and ICM will vigorously defend this action,” said ICM spokeswoman Michelle Suess.
“Mr. Rockwell had a personal relationship with the plaintiff for over a year,” Jon Freis, Rockwell’s attorney, said in a statement. “During the course of the relationship, they had consensual sexual relations on many occasions. Mr. Rockwell will be vindicated 100 percent at trial in this matter on any claim of rape.”
Robinson’s attorneys deny there was ever a personal relationship.
The class action suit seeks a judge’s order to end “hip pocketing” at ICM, which the suit claims has been going on for years to exploit young women. It claims Robinson’s career is irreparably damaged thanks to ICM and that she suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of the alleged battery.
Her attorneys also seek 10 percent of ICM’s gross earnings for one year as punitive damages if Robinson’s suit succeeds.