A former Canadian beauty queen has filed a class-action lawsuit accusing ICM of a conspiracy to sexually assault and exploit young actresses. ICM denied any wrongdoing.
Claire Robinson, a past Miss British Columbia (2004), claims ICM agent Jack Gilardi and his friend John Rockwell ran a scam in which they “hip-pocketed” actresses in attempt to take sexual advantage of them. A “Hip-pocket” client is one that is represented on the side by an agent while not officially being represented by the agency at large. At many mid and large-sized agencies, the partners have to approve acceptance for all new clients of the firm.
The complaint alleges that Robinson, 23, met Rockwell in March 2007 when she moved from Vancouver, Canada, to Los Angeles, California to become an actress.
Robinson claims that Gilardi and his assistants sent her on several “mock auditions.” During one such audition a producer allegedly asked her to perform bedroom scenes and a lewd act. On another audition Robinson met a producer who held Robinson's hand, touched her body and attempted to plan a vacation with her, according to the lawsuit.
Robinson further alleges that Rockwell made sexual advances during a trip to the Cannes Film Festival under the ruse that the trip would help her career. Robinson claims that Rockwell became “increasingly aggressive and controlling” when she rejected his advances. One year after the trip to Cannes, Rockwell forced himself into Robinson's apartment and raped her, according to the suit.
Robinson filed a class-action because she believes other women have been “ensnared” in the ICM scheme in the past. Robinson seeks $10 million in punitive damages or ten percent of ICM's annual gross earnings.
The lawsuit alleges fraud, negligent supervision and sexual battery. It also seeks to designate the hip-pocketing scheme as an ongoing criminal enterprise under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c).
Robinson v. International Creative Management Inc. et al., No. BC414002, complaint filed (Cal. Super. Ct., L.A. County May 19, 2009). 21 No. 5 ANENTILR 2. 2009 WL 1468113