A recent Columbia University grad who modeled to help pay tuition has slammed the brakes on Volvo, Hertz and the Ford Models agency, charging in a new lawsuit that they took her for a ride.
In one modeling shot Carolyn Giles says was used without permission, she was made out to look like a professional Swedish escort.
“It looks like something you’d see in the old yellow pages directories under escort services,” said Giles’ lawyer, David Jaroslawicz. “It makes her look sleazy.”
Giles, 30, has accused Ford Models in a $23 million lawsuit of letting Volvo and Hertz hijack her image and use it worldwide — even though she was paid only a one-time use fee to promote Volvo’s S40 model.
She got wind of her global exposure from an ex-boyfriend who was living in Argentina.
“He thought he had seen my photo in a Hertz ad there,” Giles said in an interview Tuesday. “I found that Volvo was using my picture for different (car) models in 30 countries.”
She said Hertz also used her picture in ads — and in a report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
FACEBOOK Carolyn Giles is suing or $23 million.
But she was most shocked to find her image on a website called Fast Impressions, near a headline that reads: “Spend the night with a Swedish model of your choice!”
The caption under her picture says “Rev Up Your Love Life.”
That website was promoting parties for “Elites Only,” where participants could “boost (their) midweek social diary” by driving around Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, in new Volvos, followed by cocktails with “sexy Swedish models of all shapes and sizes.”
Jaroslawicz said the photo duplication was a no-no.
“I can’t take Julia Roberts’ picture and advertise soap,” he said. “They started using her (Giles) as if they owned her.”
Giles — a Florida native who has modeled since she was 18 — just completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia.
Screen grab from Elites Only Parties that shows Model Carolyn Giles, 23 (top photo). Giles is suing Volvo, Ford Models agency and Hertz Corp. for using her image in a series of dating websites.
She was paid $1,000 for one photo shoot that was to result in pictures for Volvo’s S40 model.
She said she tried to get Ford to enforce her contract but “they gave me the runaround.”
After getting nowhere with Ford, she said she did her own investigation and “found all this out by using Google’s reverse images.”
Spokesmen for Ford, Volvo and Hertz offered no immediate comment on the lawsuit.