Kate Moss, among the most famous people ever to emerge from Croydon, has sparked a fashion industry row this week with a revealing interview on Desert Island Discs in which she said she was targeted by a sex pest photographer when she was starting out as a teenaged model 30 years ago.
Moss is now 48, but she was talent-spotted in Croydon when just 14 launching her into a global fashion career.
It was during one of her first shoots that she found herself with a man who wanted to photograph her for a bra catalogue.
Moss told the BBC Radio 4 programme that she “could tell a wrong ‘un a mile away”.
Moss said, “I was only 15 probably and he said: ‘Take your top off’.
“I took my top off, and I was really shy then about my body, and he said ‘take your bra off’ and I could feel there was something wrong so I got my stuff and I ran away.”
Moss went on to become one of fashion’s most famous faces, and remains in demand with designers and magazine editors around the world.
In 1992, she shot her first major advertising campaign for Calvin Klein with actor Mark Wahlberg. But Moss told presenter Lauren Laverne that the underwear shoot did not bring back good memories.
Topless for the photographs, the model said she felt objectified and “vulnerable and scared”. She said she suffered from severe anxiety before the shoot and was prescribed Valium to help her get through the experience.
Now an agent herself, with her daughter Lila Moss on her books, Moss said that she takes care of her models and ensures an agent is always with them at a shoot so there is someone there to say, “I don’t think that’s appropriate”.
In earlier interviews, Moss has said she had no regrets about leaving Croydon, where she rarely visits. Famously, when shooting a Rimmel cosmetics ad in 2011 in Croydon, she was flown into town by a helicopter that landed on the upper deck of a Whitgift Centre car park.
On Desert Island Discs, which is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Friday morning, Moss talks about her relationship with Johnny Depp, she repeats previous denials of drug misuse and eating disorders, and even how she still dislikes having her picture taken if not for work.
“I would never, ever have said to anybody I wanted to be a model because I thought that was vain,” she said.
Moss today lives in the Cotswolds where she says she has become “obsessed with gardening”.
She said, “I’m not into being out of control anymore. I like to get to bed and do my meditation before anyone gets up. I like to feel in control.”
Moss’s music choices on the radio programme included “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young, “Life On Mars?” by David Bowie and a version of “Back To Life” by Soul II Soul featuring Kanye West’s Sunday Service choir that she had specially remixed for the programme.
For her luxury item, Moss chose a cashmere blanket “in either a duck egg blue or pink”.
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