Modeling Agencies" Legal Battle
Models Anna Jagodzinka, Karmen Pedaru, Anna Cywinskya subjects of modeling agencies" legal battle
BY JOSE MARTINEZ
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
A battle over beauties between two top modeling agencies keeps getting uglier.
Next Management is suing Ford Models, accusing the rival firm of the "height of gall" for poaching a pair of Polish knockouts and an Estonian stunner from its stable of lovelies.
"These are top models that Ford has stolen," said Elizabeth Eilender, a lawyer for Next Management. "This is an outrage."The blowup over models Anna Jagodzinska, Karmen Pedaru and Anna Cywinskya is the latest catwalk catfight between Ford and Next, who have previously tangled in court over Danish and Brazilian models and one looker hyped as "the next Cindy Crawford."
Jagodzinska, a Vogue cover girl from Poland who goes by Anna J., has modeled for Tommy Hilfiger and Jimmy Choo and is ranked by Models.com as the No. 8 model in the world.Pedaru, a one-time member of the Estonian national women"s soccer team, is No. 23.
The suit, filed yesterday in Manhattan Supreme Court, accuses Agneiszka Ponarski, a longtime Next booker, of scheming to lure the models to Ford even before she was hired there in March.
Ponarski, who specialized in Eastern European models, is accused of exploiting her relationships with the three women to get them to bail out on Next."These models completely ignored their written contracts to go to Ford," Eilender said.A Ford spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.
The suit also charges that the legendary firm founded by Jerry Ford -which helped launch the careers of Christie Brinkley and Brooke Shields - doesn"t play by the rules ever since Russian owners took over.
"They totally ignore the American legal system and rule of law," Eilender said. "Written contracts? Who cares?"
"These models completely ignored their written contracts to go to Ford."Ford sued Next three times last year, after losing out on catwalk talents including leggy Kendra Spears, who"s billed as "the next Cindy Crawford."