Here’s to you Claire Robinson, for striking a blow on behalf of star-struck ingénues everywhere.
Robinson is the former Miss B.C. 2004 who is ripping the casting couch cabal a new one with her lawsuit alleging she was sexually exploited by International Creative Management, the Hollywood mega-agency that represents a galaxy of stars from Chris Rock to Beyoncé.
Before I go over the top (and I will, I promise), a cautionary note: This is a lawsuit; none of the allegations have been proven; we’ll have to wait to see if Robinson’s charges have any validity.
But, c’mon. This story is older than Harrison Ford. And if it’s true, the chest hair and gold chain set will never be the same. That Tinseltown cliché, the casting couch, could go the way of the Swifty Lazar giant glasses as a Hollywood agent’s stock in trade (See Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder).
The $10-million suit alleges she was “hip-pocketed” by ICM — it’s a term that means a senior agent takes the starlet under his wing — without the complication of a contract — and it names, among others, ICM executive VP Jack Gilardi, who at one time represented the poster boy for chest hair and gold chains, Burt Reynolds. But instead of grandfatherly guidance, she alleges that her agent took bribes and tried to pass her around as a sexual party favour.
In her photos, Robinson looks like the sweetest kid, but turns out she comes with a sting. She walked the same red carpet route to delusion that has been downfall of so many before her: This time, though, the starlet didn’t head for a dark corner so no one could see the mascara-streaked tracks of her tears.
Nope, she called her lawyer, and the result could be the biggest story in the long and checkered history of Hollywood Babylon.
You may be thinking: “Well, what did she expect? If you strut around in high heels and a swim suit, you think that nice man is interested in your career?” But just because there’s no category at the pageant for judgment or discretion, does that mean aspiring actresses need to suffer the unwanted advances of a bunch of dirty old grandfathers? Guys who wake up in the morning and have to remember where they left their toupees?
I hope every young woman who has ever been groped in a limo will dry her tears, come out of the (eye) shadows and join Robinson on her crusade to throw a scare into the power putzes who have heretofore roamed the landscape like elk in rutting season.
Hell hath no fury like Miss Congeniality when you push her too far.