Hadid attempted to elbow celebrity harasser Vitalii Sediuk after he tried to pick her up, and she detailed the incident in a new essay for Lena Dunham's 'Lenny'.
After she was forced to defend herself outside a Milan fashion show last week when a former TV reporter manhandled her on the red carpet, Gigi Hadid has penned an essay addressing the incident and urging young women in similar situations to “fight back”.
The 21 year old model was also criticised for her reaction when she attempted to elbow Ukrainian celebrity harasser Vitalii Sediuk, who has attempted similar stunts in the past directed at the likes of Madonna and Will Smith, when he attempted to physically pick her up outside the Max Mara show.
Hadid screamed “let go of me!” at Sediuk, and attempted to chase him down the street before her bodyguards stopped her.
Gigi Hadid penned an essay about what happened to her at the Milan fashion show last week
Recalling the incident in an essay for Lena Dunham’s ‘Lenny’ newsletter, Hadid said: “I played volleyball, and my coaches talked about muscle memory. I started boxing two years ago and I always remembered that. Since then, I hadn't been in a situation that forced me to fight back, but it just came out when he grabbed - me it wasn't a choice. I do have that fighter in me.”
“Honestly, I felt I was in danger, and I had every right to react the way I did. If anything, I want girls to see the video and know that they have the right to fight back, too, if put in a similar situation.”
Sediuk, formerly of Ukrainian TV channel 1+1, has previously given a statement to The Hollywood Reporter about the incident, describing what he did as an act of “protest”, saying that Hadid has “nothing to do with high fashion”.
However, Hadid is angrier at how the incident was initially reported in the media. She took to Twitter to call out the author of the first report of what happened, whose piece was headlined in an offensive way.
“The first article that was posted about the incident was headlined: 'Not model behavior. Gigi aggressively lashes out and elbows fan in the face after he tries to pick her up…’ That's when I really got pissed. First of all, it was a woman who wrote the story with that headline,” she continues. “What would you tell your daughter to do? If my behaviour isn't model behaviour, then what is? What would you have told your daughter to do in that situation?”
Hadid also had praise for her mom, Yolanda Foster, whom she said raised her to have defensive instincts when it comes to physical danger.
“When my mom first saw what had happened, she texted me the picture of me elbowing the guy and (among other messages of support) said, 'Good girl.' My mom has taught me the power of my instincts since I was a kid.”
“It sounds cliché to say it, but in the moment, it wasn't heroic to me. It was just what I had to do. It's very touching to me that people see it that way,” she writes. “I know people are put in much worse situations every day and don't have the cameras around that provoke social-media support. I just want to use what happened to me to show that it's everyone's right, and it can be empowering, to be able to defend yourself.”