There’s a legal battle brewing between modeling agencies The Lions and DNA over model Adwoa Aboah.
The Lions Model Management is taking aim at DNA Model Management, its cofounder David Bonnouvrier and Camilla Lowther, founder of CLM Agency and Aboah’s mother, accusing them of scheming to get the model out of her contract with The Lions in order to defect to DNA.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, The Lions said Aboah recently asked to be released early from her three-year contract, set to expire this coming January, after being recruited by Bonnouvrier.
Lions pointed out that Aboah’s mother Lowther is a personal friend of Bonnouvrier, and claimed that he told the agency that Lowther is “very powerful in the fashion industry” and if Aboah was not released from her contract, she would “attempt to harm the Lions business,” according to the complaint.
CLM represents creatives across the fashion editorial industry, including photographers Tim Walker and Juergen Teller, and stylists Katie Grand and Venetia Scott, who recently took up the style director position at British Vogue left open by the clamorous exit of Lucinda Chambers.
Aboah allegedly made this same threat, telling Lions her mother “would cause the Lions problems in the fashion industry” if they refused to end her representation contract.
Lions also claimed that during its representation of Aboah, she went from getting “virtually no modeling fees” to being “one of the top models in the United States,” and that as recently as July, she expressed “being very happy” with the agency.
Despite Lions informing Bonnouvrier and a lawyer for Aboah that the agency expected her “to fulfill her obligations” and demanding that the attempted interference with her contract stop, it claims DNA earlier this month made an announcement that it was now representing Aboah.
“The Lions was in the middle of negotiation deals that would generate substantial fees for both Aboah and the Lions,” the agency claimed.
It also accused Lowther and Bonnouvrier of “intentionally and improperly” inducing Aboah’s breach of her contract. However, the model is not named as a defendant in the suit.
Lions is seeking unspecified damages.
Representatives of DNA and CLM could not be reached for comment.
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