In the Media

McAllister Olivarius client news – Actress Ashley Grace: Fashion Photographer Raped Me During Shoot (The Daily Beast)

Extract:

About a week later, Grace, then 19, returned to Sabal’s Tribeca studio, which doubled as his apartment. The suit alleges that the shoot began like the others, with Sabal, then 30, pushing liquor on her as she sat through hair and makeup. Grace says she felt somewhat calmed by the presence of Sabal’s then-girlfriend, model Yuliana Bondar, but alleges that she became concerned when the hair and makeup team left and Bondar appeared in the living room with her “outfit” for the shoot: a single pair of nylons with nothing underneath.

Bondar flitted in and out of the room as Sabal began to pose Grace in increasingly suggestive ways, the suit claims. She begged Bondar to stay in the living room with them but was brushed off, with Bondar telling her the photographs Sabal was taking would “change [her] career because they were going to be so good,” the suit claims.

After 15 or 20 minutes, Sabal suggested a change of scenery. He led her into a bedroom, pressured her to snort cocaine and get on the bed, then turned on a video camera and aimed it at her, despite her protestations. Drunk, high, and paralyzed with fear, Grace followed Sabal’s commands to pose for the camera, even as he climbed on top of her and raped her, the suit claims.

A photo of former model and actress Ashley Grace.

“I think I made the decision that I thought was safest for me in that moment,” Grace told The Daily Beast. “Which was to go [internally] somewhere else.”

Leaving the apartment afterward, Grace says, she stopped to think about how hideous the building’s door looked. (“I think I remember that because I was so happy to be outside,” she says.) Then she walked home, sat on the floor of the shower, and cried.

To this day, she says, one of her biggest regrets is not telling anyone what had happened.

(…)

So Grace decided she would finance the suit on her own. Working with attorneys from McAllister Olivarius, she drafted a complaint accusing Sabal of assault and sexual battery, and Bondar of negligence. They filed on Nov. 22—one day before the Adult Survivors Act window closed.

If you are a victim or survivor of sexual harassment or assault and would like to explore how the law can help you, our team will be happy to speak with you at no cost. We understand how difficult it can be to discuss painful aspects of your past, and our trauma-informed team will ensure your safety and wellbeing is protected throughout the process.

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