Like many others who have come forward about Harvey Weinstein, Ambra Gutierrez is working overtime to stop this setback from affecting her career. The Italian model heroically teamed up with police for a sting operation in 2015 to collect evidence against her abuser.
Now the former Miss Italy finalist is back the spotlight on her own terms — she took to Instagram to post shots from her new modeling campaign with Victoria’s Secret before the full lingerie collection debuts on their website. The casting took place months ago, but she told ABS-CBN that she was just informed about the job a week ago.
The 26-year-old says she has always been a fan of Victoria’s Secret and the values the brand represents. “What I love about VS is that they give women freedom to express their sexy side without any judgment. All women should be free to be sexy,” she told Phillipine Entertainment Portal. We can’t help but think her talk of judgement is a direct response to her experience as a figure in the #MeToo movement. The temptation to ignore a social lesson from an underwear model is strong, but it shouldn’t be — Gutierrez’s point speaks to the heart of the movement for women’s total freedom. Women should not compromise their attire to avoid looking like “they’re asking for it” or like they’re “slutty.”
In the recorded conversation Gutierrez had with Weinstein during the police sting, he admitted to groping Gutierrez the day prior. “Please I don’t want to do something that I don’t want to do,” she tells the former Hollywood director. When Gutierrez asks him why he touched her without consent he responds matter of factly, “Because that’s what I’m used to.” W Magazine writes about the fact that after the Farrow expose in the New Yorker, Gutierrez’s actions were seen as admirable, but when publications initially reported on Gutierrez’s claims in 2015 they maligned her and went as far as to wonder if she was just making the story up to increase her chances of being cast by Weinstein.
Gutierrez will have the last laugh. Not only is she modeling for Victoria’s Secret, she also has a podcast in the works. “Just finished . . . the trailer for my podcast that will start in September,” she wrote on Instagram. “Can’t wait to share . . . many stories that will inspire and help others to overcome difficulties,” she told Page Six.
Here’s to hoping Ambra will address more about the Weinstein allegations in her new podcast. It’s like she said in early April on a ‘Women in the World’ panel, “The Truth speaks very loud. It can’t be buried.”
Bonnie Azoulay is an intern for the Forward.