Lea Dolan, CNN
British model Kate Moss has revealed some of the past pitfalls of her modeling career in a rare interview with the BBC’s Desert Island Discs podcast series.
Moss, who told T magazine in 2010 that she ‘just hate(s)’ talking to the media – and that as a young model she ‘used to get really sick just from worrying’ interviews she had given – opened up to host Lauren Laverne about the “painful” experiences she has endured in the industry.
The iconic shoots that helped define his career were often “difficult and painful” behind the scenes, according to Moss. While filming the landmark 1992 Calvin Klein underwear campaign starring her and Mark Wahlberg, for example, Moss told Laverne she felt “vulnerable and scared.”
“(Wahlberg) was very macho and it was all about him, he had a great entourage,” Moss said. “They played on my vulnerability,” she added of people in positions of power in the industry. “I was quite young and innocent.”
And Moss – who was scouted by a top modeling agent aged 14 and started booking editorials aged 16 – also opened up about other instances in which her youth was used against her. She said photographers had “pressed” her to show more skin than she was comfortable with, including having her topless photograph taken.
As the face of the infamous ’90s “heroine chic” fashion trend, Moss said she often felt like she was “the scapegoat for a lot of people’s problems.”
“I was never anorexic, I never was… I had never taken heroin,” she said. “I was thin because I didn’t eat on set or at shows, and I had always been thin.”
So in 2005, when a British tabloid published photos of Moss appearing to be taking cocaine, Moss told Laverne she “felt sick and was quite angry.”
Moss then released a statement apologizing “to everyone I’ve let down because of my behavior, which has negatively impacted my family, friends, colleagues, associates and others”.
“I take full responsibility for my actions,” his statement said. “I also accept that there are various personal issues that I need to resolve and have begun to take the difficult, but necessary, steps to resolve them.”
Moss was never charged.
Since officially retiring from the catwalks in 2004, Moss has set up her own modeling agency, whose books now include her daughter, rising star Lila Moss – already with a British Vogue cover under her belt. Alongside the bizarre fashion week cameo, Moss made headlines in June for resurrecting a piece of fashion history – a vintage 1993 John Galliano Union Jack blazer – during Jubilee celebrations. Queen’s Platinum in London. This month, she was named creative director of Diet Coke, a role previously held by fashion titans Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs.
In his fierce defense of controversial figures like Galliano – who was convicted in 2011 of making anti-Semitic remarks in a Paris cafe – Moss affirmed his belief in “fairness and justice”.
“I know John Galliano is not a bad person,” she said, “people aren’t themselves when they drink and they say things they would never say if they were sober .”
Moss also spoke with Laverne about her role in Johnny Depp’s libel lawsuit, after making waves for her Zoom testimony in May. At trial, Amber Heard testified that she heard a “vague rumor” alleging Depp pushed Moss into an altercation during their mid-’90s relationship. Depp later called Moss as a rebuttal witness; “I know he never kicked me on the stairs. I had to tell this truth,” she told Laverne.
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