Alannah Beirne has revealed that a photographer once asked her to deliver sexual favours in return for a photo shoot.
In an interview with the Sunday Independent Life Magazine, the brunette lifted the lid on the dark side of the modelling industry.
Recalling the time when she was just 22 years old, Alannah revealed she flew 3,000 miles for an exciting opportunity after she was put in touch with a well-known photographer in the US.
“I was delighted to be doing it,” she said. “He was very professional and at the time it was just very much a professional shoot I was so happy to have met with him, never mind to be photographed by him.”
However, things changed when Alannah called to pick up her final shots.
“He said, ‘Well, if I give you these photos, then I need something in return,'” Alannah said. “like a sexual favour.”
She continued, “I was very civil and kind. I mean, this guy had promised to get me in touch with agencies because he said he knows everyone, and he does.”
After trying to brush him off, Alannah started receiving text messages from him.
“He would say, ‘I really want to see you again and that body of yours,’ and I just wouldn’t reply.”
“I was a little bit sickened and upset. I just wanted my photos and for him to do as he promised, but, unfortunately, with some people in the industry, they want something in return. I was told afterwards that I wasn’t the only one he has done that to.
“The only reason some girls get into these agencies is because they [give him] the sexual favours that he wants, and I was even told that his wife knows what he is up to and she just allows it.”
“I just dealt with it by saying I had a boyfriend, but that I still wanted to pursue a modelling career in America, if he could help me out, but still, to this day, he has never given me the photos and has never put me in touch with anyone,” she revealed.
“It’s a completely different world outside of Ireland. People will sleep with someone to get to where they want to go. You wonder if it is a power thing, or what it is that makes people think it is ok to treat someone like that.”
The Kildare native also opened up about getting caught up in “binge cycles” as a working model, and admitted to starving herself when she was on the modelling scene in London.
“I was around 19 or 20 at the time. I would have cigarettes and coffee and that’s it. In London you have to be very skinny,” she said.
“But then I would binge in the evenings and have really crappy foods. I would eat crisps and chocolate. I would go into a cycle of trying to give yourself sugar and drinks like cans of Coke to boost your energy levels after shoots and events, but realistically it was ruining my body.”
When asked if she ever resorted to diet pills, she confessed, “Yeah. I took them once but they never work. I got them in the chemist, but I didn’t stick with them, because I wasn’t seeing any benefits.”
Alannah also revealed that models eating cotton wool isn’t just a myth, as she admitted, “I know girls who do it. They do it to trick their stomach into thinking they have eaten… or they would make themselves sick.”
“On shoots it is not exactly an open conversation, but if you have a couple of drinks with someone, they will open up to you a bit more.
“I just wouldn’t let myself get to that point, but it does happen, and to younger girls more so, because they want to make it in the modelling industry so badly that they will do whatever it takes,” she added.