A supermodel has filed a lawsuit against a modeling agency owned by Donald Trump after she claimed she was treated like a “slave” when they brought her to the US.
According to Daily Mail, Alexa Palmer says immigration documents completed by Trump Model Management LLC said she would earn $75,000 a year. Instead, she walked away with less than $5,000 from three years of work. Now, she is suing the agency for exploitation.
“That’s what slavery people do,” she told ABC News’s GMA. “You work and don’t get no money.”
Palmer was 17 years-old when she was allowed in the US from her native Jamaica on a H-1B, a visa for foreign workers that binds them to staying with a specific company, and sets a minimum wage for them which is intended to prevent them being used to undercut American labor. Palmer said her documents said she would work “full time” and that she would make $75,000 a year. However, she claims that did not happen.
“I’d say that somebody’s got some explaining to do,” Robert Divine, a former chief counsel to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency told ABC News. “It would be extraordinarily unusual for that to be legal.”
Palmer’s lawyer, Naresh Gehi, told reporters that his client was cheated out of her money and was seduced by a life of glamour that never came to fruition.
“The visa application the company filed with the government requires that people are paid the full amount,” Gehi said. “It’s a requirement.”
Trump’s attorney, Alan Garten, has disputed Palmer’s claims.
“Anything she’s saying about being treated as a slave is completely untrue. The greater demand for the model, the better that model does,” Garten said. “In the case of the individual you’re talking about, there wasn’t – unfortunately – a lot of demand for the model.”
A judge will decide by the end of March whether or not to proceed with the proposed class action lawsuit filed by Palmer. What do you think about this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.