Saffron Burrows slams exploitative fashion industry

Saffron Burrows claims the fashion industry was "close to prostitution" when she began her career.

The 47-year-old actress claimed there were "shocking" levels of agencies offering their young models to "important men" and making them feel there was "something wrong" with them if they refused to sleep with the industry figures.

She said: "When I was 15, I was sent to Paris to model and the whole language of the fashion industry was about coercion.

"It was, at times, close to prostitution, the way agencies offered girls to 'important men', who would choose from the wall of model cards and, if you didn't want to sleep with them, you were made to feel as if something was wrong with you. It happened to a socking degree."

The 'You' star insisted the practice was never kept hidden but there was a "culture of complicity" and it's only now female agents are expressing their regrets.

She said: "People knew, but there was a culture of complicity. There are now female agents expressing regret over what they let happen to girls.

"Dangerous situations, bad situations - teenage girls far from home being given drugs and waking up the following day not knowing what happened to them.

"I saw an industry that conducted itself unchecked for many years."

Saffron is keen to "raise consciousness" about what she claims happened and has written a film on the subject.

She told Psychologies magazine: "I want to raise consciousness.

"I've written a screenplay called 'Adored' about the highs of modelling and also the incredible loneliness that I experienced, how the world that co-existed with us enabled the predators.

"Patricia Rozema is attached to direct it, which is exciting. When I started acting, there were hardly any women directors."