Model Mayhem is one of the hottest websites for aspiring models. It allows young women to post profiles and hopefully be discovered. INSIDE EDITION investigated and found that models should beware of some of the people lurking on the site. Lisa Guerrer
Modeling is a dream job for many young women that are hoping to get discovered overnight, just like Kate Upton.
Kara Nichols,19, had the same dream. Last October, she left home in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for a modeling job she got through a website, ModelMayhem.com. Her family hasn't seen her since.
"I think she met a predator on Model Mayhem," said Nichols' mother, Julia.
Watch INSIDE EDITION's investigation.
Another aspiring model was brutally raped by two men posing as casting directors who contacted her through Model Mayhem. Laiken, who asked that we use only her first name, was lured her to a hotel in Miami for a casting call. The hotel’s surveillance video shows one of the men accompanying her to her room. She thought they were going to take photographs, but she was drugged and sexually assaulted.
She called 911 the morning after the assault and told the dispatcher, “I basically woke up in a shirt that I never wore last night and no underwear. I'm scared.”
Laiken and her attorney, Jeff Herman, blame Model Mayhem. They said the website knew the men were trolling for potential targets, but failed to post any warning.
"These men had a history of doing this over and over again on the model mayhem site," said Herman.
Both men were convicted and are now serving life sentences.
INSIDE EDITION’s I-Squad wanted to find out who else might be trolling the Model Mayhem website. So, an INSIDE EDITION producer signed up using the name "Miss Ashlee."
Within minutes, she was bombarded with messages from men who wanted to meet her.
One of the messages asked, “Would you be interested and available to shoot lingerie photos?”
However, the message we got from a man using the screen name "Velvet Tears" was particularly creepy.
During a phone conversation, “Velvet Tears” revealed he wasn't interested in taking photos, he was actually recruiting her for a party. It was being held at a New York City nightclub called the K-Lounge atop the Bombay Palace restaurant. We sent our producer to the party wearing a hidden camera.
Inside was a dimly lit room with a bar and some couches. When our producer finally met the man who called himself “Velvet Tears”, it turned out his real name is Angelico Diamonte.
As for the party, it turned out the guests were into foot fetishes. For $20, they got to touch the women's feet. Our producer quickly left the party, but INSIDE EDITION’s Lisa Guerrero had a few questions for him.
"Are you luring women from Model Mayhem to come to these parties to be groped by strange men?” Guerrero asked Angelico. "Do you think this is a legitimate modeling job for these women?”
Angelico would not respond to Guerrero’s questions.
Simon Roger owns The Agency, an online talent agency in Manhattan. He said young women have no idea what kind of creeps may be lurking on sites like Model Mayhem.
"The people who are contacting you, and saying, ‘Hey, I want to take your picture,' but there's no one really checking them out to make sure they're legitimate," he said. "It's a risky environment. It's a recipe for disaster."
Bombay Palace, the restaurant where the foot fetish party was held, said they had no idea what was going on and are no longer allowing the parties to be held there. Model Mayhem had no comment.
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