On April 6, Model Alliance founder Sarah Ziv filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court against Fabrizio Lombardo, the former head of Miramax in Italy. The former model was fueled by the recently passed Adult Survivors Act, which expanded the rights of sexual assault victims to take their cases to court, which would otherwise not be possible due to the statute of limitations.
In the lawsuit, Ziff alleges that Lombardo assaulted her at a New York City hotel in . At the time, she wanted to break into showbiz, and her agent organized the meeting. According to the New York Times, Miramax executives invited her to a screening and later to a drink at the Mercer on the pretext that she could now meet — — Convicted filmmaker Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob. Instead, she was taken to the penthouse suite where the attack took place. Named in the lawsuit are Lombardo, Harvey Weinstein, and Disney and its subsidiaries Buenavista and Miramax. She had previously reported the incident to the NYPD at to no avail.
Through her work with the Models Alliance – a non-profit fashion organization that promotes sustainable practices “From the Runway to the Factory Floor” – Ziff has long helped other women deal with their abuse and trauma. (She received a 2021 CFDA Award for Positive Impact). Currently, she and her organization are working to pass the Fashion Workers Act, which aims to protect not just models, but There are makeup artists, stylists, and other employees who are often freelancers.
“I see the Model Alliance as part of a new wave of activism around finding a new labor rights framework, especially for a global, mostly female, highly mobile workforce,” Ziff Said 2021 in an interview. “We have a multi-pronged approach. We are committed to developing and supporting legislation, but we also recognize that this is a global industry and we cannot change the legal world in all jurisdictions, so we have to engage the industry , and sign meaningful commitments. No matter where people work, there needs to be standards that are enforced.”