Former B.C. beauty queen sues Hollywood talent agency

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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TORONTO - A former B.C. beauty queen who says she was sexually exploited by a top Hollywood talent firm has filed a class-action lawsuit.
Claire Robinson, 23, Miss British Columbia in 2004, is the plaintiff in a suit filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday against talent firm International Creative Management, Jack Gilardi, a vice-president at the agency, and other unnamed men.
Robinson, 23, alleges she was one of many women "hip-pocketed" by Gilardi and his associates.
The phrase "hip-pocketed" refers to a veteran male talent agent agreeing to represent a young model or actress but never formally signing her or securing any legitimate auditions.
"Once the girls believed they were ICM clients, the co-conspirators sexually exploited the `hip-pocketed' actresses," alleges the claim obtained by the celebrity website TMZ.com.
ICM denied the claims Tuesday night.
"Ms. Robinson's allegations are completely baseless. ICM denies any and all wrongdoing and will vigorously defend this action," the company said.
The suit is filed under a U.S. racketeering law designed for prosecuting the mafia and allows civil suits for acts committed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.
"We're taking the position that this hip-pocketing of actresses and sexually exploiting them, that's been a criminal enterprise that's been going on for about 20 years," Robinson's lawyer Perry Wander told the Globe and Mail.
The suit seeks US$10 million in punitive damages.

Organizations: International Creative Management, Hollywood talent agency, Robinson's Globe and Mail

Geographic location: TORONTO, Hollywood, Los Angeles U.S.

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