Portuguese model and Victoria’s Secret Angel Sara Sampaio is ready to name names when it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace.
In an impassioned multi-photo Instagram post, Sampaio recounted a recent experience she had while working on an assignment for the French men’s magazine Lui. As the magazine’s autumn cover star, she says she agreed to appear under the strict condition of not being photographed nude. “My agency and I insisted on having a clear agreement in place to protect myself in order to control the choice I made around not being shot nude,” she wrote.
However, even with this clause seemingly having been agreed upon, Sampaio says she was “aggressively” pressured by the Lui staffers on set to pose nude anyway — and when nudity managed to get by in few photos, Sampaio alleges that the magazine used those images in the final magazine spread without her permission.
“Throughout the shoot day, I needed to constantly defend myself and reiterate my boundaries with no nude images, making sure I covered myself as best as I could,” she continued. “While reviewing the final images taken, I noticed that there were accidental exposures with parts of my body that I didn’t want exposed. I spoke up and was assured that those images would not be used. The magazine lied and proceeded to publish a cover image of me with nudity, which was in clear violation of our agreement.”
Sadly, this wasn’t the first gross violation Sampaio had experienced in her career. “On many occasions where the shoot was to not have nudity, I would arrive on set and the photographer or stylist would pressure, cajole, or demand that I pose nude because I had done it in the past,” she continued in her Instagram post. But Sampaio having previously consented to photo shoots wherein she posed nude does not equate to implicit permission in the present. “Many times, I was shown nude images of myself as examples to coerce me into posing nude, and whenever I stood my ground and refused, I was criticized and judged as being difficult.”
As a result of her mistreatment at Lui, Sampaio says that she, her agency, and her attorney are pursuing legal action against the magazine. “What they did to me is unacceptable,” she concludes. “I feel violated, mistreated, and disrespected as a professional and as a woman.”
Sampaio’s Instagram comes after the #MeToo social media movement, in which women (and occasionally men) are detailing how they’ve been sexually harassed and assaulted throughout their lives. It was birthed last week from news that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has allegedly mistreated and harassed women for decades.