The 10 Biggest Supermodel Scandals
Beauty is a powerful drug – it can insulate you so far from reality that you lose your mind. We call women who are absurdly beautiful for a living “supermodels,” and we’ve elevated them to modern-day deities of physical perfection, a sort of Aphrodite of the runway — something we’ve been doing for as long as we can remember. Unfortunately, these women are all too human and they get in trouble just like you or I get in trouble. They just look a lot better doing it, that’s for sure.
Come with us on a journey through the weirdly sexy world of supermodel scandals — from iconic models Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell to other models like Karen Mulder and May Andersen, these models shook up the modeling world with their scandals — scandals that we are still talking about today.
Stephanie Seymour’s Manic Marriage
Probably the best advice we could give any supermodel is “never date a rock star.” Things always seem to work out pretty badly for both of them. Leggy brunette Stephanie Seymour hooked up with Guns ‘N Roses frontman Axl Rose in 1991, but it wasn’t long before they were on the skids. Their split was public and incredibly messy, with a lowlight being Seymour’s claim that an inebriated Axl would deny her the right to use the toilet and instead make her piss in the cat litter box. In 1993 Axl sued her for assault, she countersued, and the whole thing dragged on for a few very ugly years.
Audrey Munson’s Lonely Death
If you ask fashion historians, they’ll tell you that Audrey Munson was in many ways the first supermodel in New York’s history. Born in 1891 in Rochester, she was spotted on Fifth Avenue by a photographer and quickly became a muse for artists and sculptors. Her fame extended to the nascent movie industry, and she was the first woman to appear fully nude on film in 1915. For all of her success, she came to an untimely end when a former landlord, Dr Walter Keene Wilkins, became obsessed with Munson and murdered his wife. This ruined Munson’s reputation and she tried to commit suicide before being committed to an upstate insane asylum, where she died alone at the age of 66.
Kate Moss’s Cocaine Explosion
Waif-like model Kate Moss was probably the most iconic model of her generation, single-handedly reshaping the standards of world beauty. But you don’t get that thin without help, and the face of “heroin chic” did it with cocaine. Moss faced the tabloids in 2005 when the Daily Mirror devoted their front page to an image of the supermodel hoovering up white powder. Unlike some of the other scandals on this list, Moss managed to bounce back from public infamy in record time – she entered rehab and within a year had returned to the top echelon of models.
Karen Mulder’s TV Shocker
The inside world of modeling has been dogged by all sorts of rumors over the years, but Dutch beauty Karen Mulder took it farther than normal in 2001 when she taped an episode of French chat show “Tout le monde en parle.” During an interview, she dropped the bombshell that she’d been raped by executives at Elite Model Management, her own father, and Prince Albert of Monaco. Unable to substantiate her claims, the show was never aired but it was enough to torpedo her career for over half a decade. In 2002 she attempted to overdose on sleeping pills but her life was saved.
Ayyan Ali’s Half-Million Smuggle
One of the most promising Pakistani models of the last decade, Ayyan Ali’s career saw her win 2010’s Calvin Klein Beauty of the Year award and many other kudos.
Unfortunately for her, she was arrested in 2015 at Islamabad airport with a whopping $506,800 in her carry-on bag. That’s way more than the legal amount of cash you can carry on a plane without declaring it, and it uncorked a massive money laundering conspiracy that involved Ali and dozens of other high-profile figures. The next year, a warrant was issued for her arrest in connection with the murder of the airport security officer who found the money on her.
Ruslana Korshunova’s Cultish Suicide
Physical beauty can do a lot for you, but it can’t save your soul. It’s not surprising that some supermodels fall into unusual spiritual practices, but the story of 20-year-old Russian Ruslana Korshunova is seriously bizarre. Korshunova joined a group called the Rose of the World, an organization that started in the 1970s around the teachings of a Russian mystic named Daniil Andreyev who predicted that all the world’s people would come together in a final battle against the Antichrist. After being jilted by a series of rich lovers, Korshunova enrolled in the Rose of the World’s courses, but in 2008 she snapped and did a running leap off of her balcony. Curiously, a model friend of hers who was also involved with the organization also killed herself the next year.
May Andersen’s Plane Scrap
Danish model May Andersen is known for a lot of things – posing for the cover of Playboy, having a kid with New York art star Julian Schnabel – but in 2006 she crossed the line to infamy for getting rowdy on an international flight. While traveling from Amsterdam to Miami, Andersen was described as “loud and disruptive” by passengers, and when a flight attendant tried to get her to control herself the supermodel physically attacked her.
Andersen was arrested when the plane landed and after she was released from jail her permission to visit the U.S. without a visa was revoked
Simone Farrow’s Drug Ring
Aussie model Simone Farrow isn’t as big a name as some of the other ladies on this list, but her wild escapades earned her a spot. Farrow posed for Ed Hardy and other swimwear brands, letting her travel all over the world. Unfortunately for her, she decided to supplement her modeling income by smuggling crystal meth on her trips. Using her personal assistant and other staff, Farrow set up buys in Australia and brought them top-quality American speed disguised as bath salts. When she was busted in her native country, she skipped bail and fled to the Gold Coast, but was soon recovered. In prison, she had sex with guards in exchange for being allowed to make phone calls.
Estella Warren’s Great Escape
Getting hauled in by the cops is a pretty rough thing for a supermodel to get over. If your whole gimmick is transcending normal humanity, being arrested for DUI can bring you down to earth. So when Estella Warren got picked up after crashing her car into three other vehicles in Los Angeles in 2011, the smart thing would have been to go quietly. She didn’t do the smart thing. Instead, Warren resisted arrest, kicked a police officer when being put into handcuffs, and then amazingly managed to slip out of her restraints at the station and tried to make a run for it! It wasn’t hard for the cops to track her down and bring her back in. She got off without any jail time, but was back in the tabs this year for assaulting her boyfriend with cleaning fluid!
Naomi Campbell’s Cell Phone Attack
We could probably do an entire article just about Naomi Campbell’s many run-ins with the law, but one incident stands out as the perfect summation of her wild attitude. In 2006, she was dragged before a judge on assault charges when a maid claimed that an angered Campbell had berated her and then thrown a cell phone at her head hard enough to require a trip to the hospital and four staples. She pled guilty to reckless assault and read a statement claiming that she hadn’t meant to do it, and was sentenced to just five days of community service.