October 2005 (v8 i2)
Dying for Attention Since 1997
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Chain-smoking, anorexic, high-stress, sleep-deprived modeling industry shocked by Kate Moss cocaine use
by Janice Chan, Associate Editor

In Opposite Land, chinchillas wear ball gowns
made of human flesh.
LONDON — When Ava Huntings entered the modeling industry, the last thing she expected was to find any of her stressed-out, 85-pound peers engaging in unhealthy behavior.

So when photos hit newsstands last month showing top model Kate Moss using cocaine, the five-foot-nine, size-two Huntings was appalled.

"I was sitting down to my nightly dinner of grapes and cigarettes when I turned on the TV and saw the reports on E!, CNN and the Insignificant Bullshit We Can't Get Enough Of Channel," Huntings recalled, trembling with hunger from not having eaten anything but ice cubes and cottage cheese in the past three weeks. "Kate is my idol; I couldn't believe she would risk her health on something as destructive as drugs."

Huntings said she was so distraught over the news that she almost fainted. Minutes later, Huntings actually did faint, as a result of a dangerously low blood-sugar level.

Upon regaining consciousness, Huntings smoked 19 cigarettes before taking a verbally abusive call from her agent and then lighting up another four.

Huntings is only one of many in the fashion industry who have frowned upon Moss' apparent drug use. Designer labels Chanel and Burberry quickly cancelled their contracts with Moss after the incriminating photos were published.

"Drug use is highly inconsistent with high-fashion brand images," explained Linda Stratton, a CNBC analyst. "Companies serving customers who vest their self-worth in exorbitantly overpriced name tags must ensure that they only associate with people who share those wholesome standards."

Moss' cocaine scandal has even drawn the attention of the London Metropolitan Police, who are working with prosecutors to see what charges might be brought against the model.

Not wanting a repeat of this summer's incident where police mistook a Brazilian for a terrorist and shot him in the head five times, the Moss investigation has been conducted slowly and carefully.

Police commissioner Ian Blair has assured the public he would give the case a thorough look, openly voicing his concern about "the impact of this kind of behavior on impressionable young people."

While fashion houses and authorities are leaning towards the punitive, some are still trying to understand Moss' scandalous behavior.

Says Jay Fettinger, a writer for In Touch magazine: "I just can't understand how someone like Kate Moss who has been constantly in the spotlight since age 14, who served a stint in rehab in 1998 and who once said models often use drugs as a form of escapism could possibly end up doing coke. It's inexplicable!"

Longtime supermodel Naomi Campbell agrees.

"Yeah, Kate's a big disappointment," the famously temperamental Campbell said as she hurled a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk at her assistant.

"And if you ever imply I'm violent again, I'll stab your eyes out with a pair of Jimmy Choo's!"
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