Entries in Model (10)


Trial in Model's Alleged Murder by Female Enforcer Set to Begin

Comstock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Jury selection is set to begin Monday in the trial of Kelly Soo Park, who prosecutors allege strangled an actress and model with her bare hands.

Park, 47, was described in court documents last year as being an enforcer hired by a wealthy doctor to strong-arm anyone who crossed him.

She has been free on $3.5 million bail, awaiting trial for the 2008 murder of Juliana Redding, 21, whom prosecutors say Park killed when the doctor sent her to "intimidate" the young woman.

Redding moved from Arizona to Santa Monica, Calif., to work as an actress and model, but two years after she began her career, Redding was found beaten and strangled in her apartment.

Prosecutors allege Park worked for Dr. Munir Uwaydah as his real estate broker and financial assistant, but was also paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to act as Uwaydah's "debt collector." The doctor referred to Park as "James Bond," according to court documents.

Uwaydah and Redding's father, Greg Redding, had reportedly planned to go into business together. Redding backed out of the deal on March 10, 2008, according to prosecutors, after he was reportedly concerned Uwaydah's business was not operating legally.

Park was "dispatched" by Uwaydah to "confront and intimidate" Juliana Redding on March 15, 2008, according to court documents, the date police said Redding was murdered.

Investigators said Park was linked to the crime by DNA evidence, but defense attorneys have argued the real killer was Redding's boyfriend, John Gilmore.

Gilmore was cleared as a suspect after his girlfriend's murder and had insisted he had several alibis.

"They're trying to point the finger at Gilmore, saying he had, at one time, allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend," ABC News legal analyst Dana Cole said.

Court documents last year said Uwaydah fled the U.S. shortly after Park was arrested in 2010 and has since been living in Lebanon.

Uwaydah has not been charged with a crime. A court motion filed last year specifies that prosecutors are "not seeking to prove that [Park] murdered Ms. Redding at the direction of Dr. Uwaydah," only that he instructed Park to intimidate and threaten the young actress.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Kara Nichols: Police Seeking Two Women for Questioning in Teen Model's Disappearance

El Paso County Sheriff's Office(EL PASO, Colo.) -- Police in Colorado investigating the disappearance of 19-year-old aspiring model Kara Nichols are now looking for two women who were last seen with Nichols before she vanished.

El Paso, Colo., County Sheriff Terry Maketa said Tuesday that Nichols, who disappeared after leaving her Colorado Springs home Oct. 9, spent much of that day in the company of a brown-haired woman, who although is not a suspect, is a person of interest in the case.

"Even if this young lady has no information, just the simple fact that she could tell us how they parted, what her parting words were, could be huge," El Paso County Sheriff's Detective Cliff Porter said.

Police are also seeking a second woman, also with brown hair, who they said associated with Nichols. They're not sure about the nature and frequency of their contact but said they believe that someone who has knowledge of the modeling world could have information about Nichols, or the two women.

On Tuesday police released images of one of the women. Porter told ABC News that after the release of the images, the El Paso Sheriff's Office and other recruited investigators have worked diligently to find Nichols.

"Tuesday's press conference has resulted in a number of valuable leads, and we are working tirelessly to follow up on these leads. They are labor and manpower intensive, and we have called on other units to assist us," he said.

When Nichols left her home on Oct. 9, the items that she left behind seemed to indicate that she planned to return shortly, police said. That day she kept in touch with friends and family through social media and her cell phone as she normally would, but later in the day, all contact ended.

"All of a sudden that stopped -- no communication since then, especially from a person who was an extrovert, who was always reaching out to people," Maketa said, which he said makes the disappearance "more concerning."

Police said they were worried that Nichols' desire to join the modeling world may have led her down a dangerous path.

"These aspirations, we believe, have caused Kara to fall prey to a subculture of modeling-business fronts that many times involve illicit drugs and prostitution. This subculture could have exploited a teenage girl who may have lacked the life experience to see the inherent risks," Maketa said.

Porter told ABC News that there was "a strong possibility that [Nichols] was targeted" by an "organized system in place to exploit girls." He added that as an aspiring model, Nichols was traveling to Denver up to two times a day, looking for work.

"Denver is the preferred area. Girls in Colorado Springs are heading to ... Denver for work. It's a larger city that's easier to get lost in," he said.

Nichols had set up a profile on the website, announcing that she was looking for paid work. Several images uploaded to her profile page show her modeling lingerie.

"I've done mostly lingerie shoots so far, but I'm extremely open-minded and I'm willing to work with you on ideas for shoots," Nichols said in her bio.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Nude Model Drops Suit Against New York City

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A nude model agreed to settle her lawsuit for false arrest against New York City today for $15,000.

Zoe West, 22, was taken into custody for several hours on Aug. 30, 2011, after officers cuffed the 5-foot-2 model at a body-painting exhibition in Times Square.

Public nudity is legal in New York City as long as it is part of a play, performance or exhibition, said West’s lawyer, Ron Kuby.

“There was no disruption. There was no problem with anybody except a sergeant, who either due to the heat or all that girl flesh, seemed to be taken aback,” Kuby said.

Just as artist Andy Golub applied his final strokes to West’s body, officers, who had been watching for more than an hour, according to Kuby, informed West they were taking her into custody.

“In order to determine she was fully nude, the police ended up looking for a very long time and got very close. I’ve gone on dates where I haven’t gotten that close,” Kuby told ABC News. “How long are you going to stare at her crotch? Apparently, the answer is quite a long time.”

The New York City Law Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

Kuby called the suit reasonable and said it was a “gentle slap on the knuckles” for police to not arrest people for artistic forms of nudity.

“It’s a great day in New York where a naked model can be paid $15,000 to drop her suit,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Model Lauren Scruggs Rapidly Recovering from Propeller Accident

ABC News(DALLAS) -- Lauren Scruggs, the 23-year-old Texas woman who accidentally walked into an airplane propeller, is now not only walking her way through rehab, she is eating her favorite foods, picking out clothes to wear and even working out on an exercise bike following surgery to remove her left eye.

Scruggs, who was badly injured in the accident 17 days ago when a moving airplane propeller sliced through the left side of her face and shoulder and severed her left hand, is making a rapid recovery, according to her family.  She walked into the propeller after viewing Christmas lights above Dallas on Dec. 3.

The model and fashion blogger is freely walking around the Dallas hospital where she is recovering, showering and dressing herself and riding a stationary bike.

The young woman's steps forward after last week's surgery to remove her left eye are providing hope for her family, who told reporters shortly after the accident that they didn't think she'd survive the tragedy.

"She really shouldn't be alive, so we feel blessed in that and although she has some challenges ahead, we're lucky to have her," her mother Cheryl Scruggs said.

Both Cheryl and Jeff Scruggs remain optimistic about their daughter's recovery.  In a web posting entitled "Miracle After Miracle, " Cheryl Scruggs writes that Lauren is responding "stunningly" and that she "has a healthy appetite and is eating well."

"Lo," as her family and friends affectionately call her, had just landed with a girlfriend after viewing Christmas lights from above in a small prop plane piloted by a family friend.  The young communications graduate, who had started a fashion website called Lolo and had worked in the wardrobe department of the TV show Gossip Girl, is thought to have turned to say a final goodbye to the pilot when the accident occurred.

The Federal Aviation Administration continues to investigate the accident.  The pilot, Kurt Richmond of Frisco, Texas, has not answered repeated requests for an interview. ABC News has learned that the Scruggs family does not blame Richmond for the accident.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Injured Model Has Left Eye Removed

ABC News(DALLAS) -- Lauren Scruggs is recovering Thursday after undergoing surgery to remove her left eye that was damaged when she accidentally walked into the propeller of a small plane 10 days ago.

Doctors at Dallas' Parkland Hospital, where the model and fashion blogger has been treated since the Dec. 3 accident, successfully replaced her damaged left eye with a prosthesis in the surgery on Wednesday.

"We are thankful for all of the strong and powerful prayers for this and the surgery today," Scruggs' family wrote on the website they created in her name at

"The surgery consisted of removing her left eye, which included nerves. The doctors were excited about the surgery and said everything went as planned and unbelievably well," said the family.

Wednesday's surgery comes amid a week of progress for Scruggs, 23, of Plano, Texas, who accidentally walked into the propeller of a small plane after viewing Christmas lights above Dallas Dec. 3. The propeller sliced into her face and shoulder and severed her left hand.

On Monday the family announced that Scruggs had begun eating solid foods, including her favorites like sweet potatoes and hard-boiled eggs, and walking the hospital's hallways.

Her parents called her progress "a miracle."

The Federal Aviation Administration continues to investigate the accident.

The pilot who flew Scruggs above Dallas to view Christmas lights, Kurt Richmond of Frisco, Texas, has not answered repeated requests for an interview. ABC News has learned that the Scruggs family does not blame Richmond for the accident.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Lauren Scruggs Tragedy: Injured Model Now Eating, Walking on Own

ABC News(DALLAS) -- For the first time since Lauren Scruggs walked into the spinning propeller of a plane, the 23-year-old model and fashion blogger is now eating solid foods and walking the hallways of a Dallas hospital on her own in what her parents have called "a miracle."

Scruggs of Plano, Texas, accidentally walked into the propeller of a small plane after viewing Christmas lights above Dallas Dec. 3. The propeller sliced into her face and shoulder and severed her left hand.

She is now able to eat some of her favorite foods again, including sweet potatoes and hard-boiled eggs, her father said.

"It's just a miracle to see the progress that she's been making," Jeff Scruggs said. "She's got her spunk back, her personality."

Her father and friends have been posting updates on Scruggs' recovery at, and the latest blog indicates that she is now able to walk on her own. She was first able to walk down a hall last week with the help of a physical therapist, according to her family.

Although she is more alert and talking now, doctors at Dallas' Parkland Hospital remain concerned she might still lose her left eye, but are pleased with the healing of her facial nerves.

Although she still has a long way to go, Scruggs is now taking her own steps down the road to recovery. Her family has set up a donation fund for her, and donations can be made at any Frost Bank to the Lauren Scruggs Hope Fund.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Parents Speak Out After Model's Propeller Accident

Courtesy Caring Bridge(NEW YORK) -- The parents of model and fashion blogger Lauren Scruggs said on Tuesday that their daughter is responsive and making a slow recovery after she suffered severe injuries from accidentally walking into the propeller of a small plane.

Scruggs, from Plano, Texas, edits an online fashion magazine and had also worked in the wardrobe department of the TV show Gossip Girl.  The 23-year-old suffered horrific injuries, including the loss of her hand, Saturday night after she had just finished riding in a single-engine plane to get an aerial view of Christmas lights with a friend.

The pilot had landed at a private airport north of Dallas when Scruggs exited the plane and walked directly into its propeller.  The blades sliced the left side of her face and shoulder and severed her left hand.  She is now stable at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

"Yesterday was a good day, there was a lot of really positive progress," Jeff Scruggs, Lauren's father, said on ABC's Good Morning America Tuesday.  "They took out her tube in the afternoon.  She didn't speak right away...I said Lauren will you say 'hi' to Daddy, and she goes, 'hi.'  Later she told one of Cheryl's sisters that she loves her.  It's so encouraging to us.  She's really uncomfortable as you can imagine."

Scruggs, who started a fashion website Lolo, was not drinking at the time of the accident, according to her parents.  While it was dark out, investigators aren't sure why Scruggs didn't see the propeller.  Her family thinks she may have turned back to thank the pilot when she walked right into it.

"It was a really horrible accident," Jeff Sruggs said on GMA.  "I've been told she got out of the plane afterwards.  And I'm guessing she went up to thank the pilot.  She would have been grateful for him taking her up to see the Christmas lights around Dallas."

Cheryl Scruggs, Lauren's mother, told GMA that she was at the small airport at the time of the accident.

"I was inside, and someone came in and told me she had gotten hit," she said, holding back tears.  "I was there until the care flight got there.  I was just able to hold her and … that's the toughest part of it all, just seeing her waiting there and waiting for the help.  All I could do was tell her that I love her."

Her family says they believe it will only be a matter of time before the young communications major is back doing what she loves.

"They're telling us it's going to be a long recovery," Jeff Scruggs said.  "Obviously she's had a lot of trauma to her head, and she lost her left hand and her left eye is questionable.  We're praying she'll regain her sight."

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Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Model Survives After Being Struck by Plane Propeller

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- Model Lauren Scruggs was able to respond to voice commands on Monday by moving her arms and legs, less than two days after the 23-year-old walked into the propeller of a small airplane, leaving her body severely mangled.

Scruggs had just got off of a two-seater plane at a private airport in McKinney, Texas, Saturday night after looking at Christmas lights when she ran into the plane’s propeller.  Her left hand, shoulder and face were hit.

The model, who also founded a lifestyle magazine, was rushed to Parkland Hospital in Dallas where her left hand was amputated.  She underwent several surgeries over the weekend and is now in stable condition.  But the extent of her brain injury is still not known, family spokesperson Janee Harrell told ABC News.

How Scruggs ran into the propeller remains unclear.

“It’s speculative at this point, but what we’re thinking is the plane landed and they were picking up the next passengers,” Harrell said.  “It was dark and we think she probably turned around to thank the pilot.”

Harrell said Scruggs was not drinking at the time of the incident.

ABC News aviation consultant John Nance said incidents such as Scruggs’ are extremely rare and underscore the need for pilots to be especially clear in issuing safety directions.

“It sounds like this is a combination of a bad procedure by the pilot and the passenger not properly realizing her proximity,” Nance said.  “One of the things I’d have to look at is why in the world a pilot permitted a passenger to board or deboard while a propeller was turning.”

For now, Scruggs’ recovery remains uncertain, but Nance said the model is extremely lucky.

“It’s like walking into a big Cuisinart,” he said.  “I’m surprised it didn’t tear her in half.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


American Apparel Snubs Plus-Size Model Contest Top Vote-Getter

Shannon Skloss Photography(LOS ANGELES) -- When Nancy Upton entered American Apparel’s “Next BIG Thing” search for a plus-size model, her goal was to mockingly protest the company.  Much to her surprise, she ended up winning the popular vote online with her racy food photos. But the company snubbed her and sent her a long letter explaining why.

Upton called on photographer friend Shannon Skloss and did a photo-shoot with a high-fashion feel, but a clearly ironic message. The images showed a scantily-clad size-12 Upton posing seductively with a variety of messy foods.

In one image, she is soaking in a bathtub filled with ranch dressing. In another, she is eating chicken off the bones in a swimming pool.

While voters loved her statement photos, American Apparel was less than amused.

“It’s a shame that your project attempts to discredit the positive intentions of our challenge based on your personal distaste for our use of light-hearted language, and that ‘bootylicous’ was too much for you to handle,” American Apparel’s creative director Iris Alonzo wrote to Upton in a letter she posted on her blog, Extra Wiggle Room.

When she first read about the competition, Upton, 24, was offended by the campaign’s tone and choice of words. “If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next XLent model, send us photos of you and your junk to back it up,” said the competition’s description. The winner would receive a trip to L.A. and a modeling gig for the company.

At the end of the letter, Alonzo wrote: “Oh—and regarding winning the contest, while you were clearly the popular choice, we have decided to award the prizes to other contestants that we feel truly exemplify the idea of beauty inside and out, and whom we will be proud to have representing our company.”

Though Upton has no problem with the fact that she will not be representing American Apparel anytime soon, she is happy to have ignited a national conversation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News RadiO


Ashes of Castrated Journalist Poured Down NYC Subway Grate

File Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Family members of a Portuguese journalist killed and castrated in a New York City hotel room paid their final respects by dumping his cremated ashes down a Manhattan subway grate.

Following the Sunday funeral for Carlos Castro, 65, who was allegedly murdered and castrated by his 20-year-old boyfriend on Jan. 7, his family took his remains to New York's famed Times Square and dumped his ashes into the subway system at the corner of Broadway and 43rd Street, according to the New York Post.

According to the Post, the family claims they received permission from the city to scatter the ashes, but a spokesman for the mayor's office said that was not true.

Calls to the mayor's office, Department of Health and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which maintains the subway system, were not immediately returned because of the Martin Luther King Holiday.

Castro's boyfriend, Renato Seabra, a male model, was arraigned last week on murder charges and remains in the psychiatric ward of Bellevue Hospital.

According to the criminal complaint, Seabra admitted to choking the journalist and gay rights activist, smashing his head into a television and castrating him with a corkscrew.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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