Baby Model Kidnapping Puts End to My Stage Parent Dreams
When I think of baby modeling, I think of long hours for small children. I think of parents taking money that their children earned and children getting the message that looks are all that matters in this world. I don"t think of kidnapping. Maybe I should have.
One family in Canada is happy to have their tiny baby back after she was kidnapped by Michelle Marie Gopaul, a 24-year-old ex-model who set up a fake casting call on Craigslist to lure parents in, promising an opportunity in a Bollywood film. There was no opportunity.
According to the New York Post: Police say Gopaul placed several ads online offering $7,500 for a baby girl "of Indian background" to "star" in a new Bollywood film.
Prior to her arrest, Gopaul chatted on her MySpace page about the baby girl she was expecting and the shower. "It"s a girl!! I can"t wait until my little pincess [sic] Valentina arrives!!" a message said on her site.
She also allegedly had a Babies "R" Us registry for a child she claimed was due October 30. This is pretty terrifying stuff and the parents are lucky to have their baby back after someone from the public brought her into the police station. Can you imagine the guilt they must have felt after bringing their daughter to a casting call in the first place and then losing her this way?
Most people say they"ve been told their baby should model and I"m no different. My daughter was pudgy and blue-eyed and beautiful as a baby. At the time, I thought she was the only baby who heard such things, so I took her to an open casting call, along with 500 other mothers who heard the same things about their babies.
The vibe was so competitive that I couldn"t handle immersing my daughter in it, so when we got the call back, I told them we weren"t interested. But of the things I worried about -- competition, overemphasis on looks -- losing my child was never one of them. Let"s hope this isn"t the start of a trend preying on parents who want to find their kid"s big break.