The $1 million model poaching lawsuit that New York Models filed against Chinese beauty Sui He (above, left), Women Management and booker Duncan Ord, has been settled, in part, according to the docket for the Manhattan Supreme Court. He, who is ranked as one of Models.com’s “Money girls” – meaning she is one of the top earning models on the heavily trafficked industry site – has since returned to New York Models, and has been dismissed from the lawsuit.
The three defendants were slapped with a lawsuit by New York Models in February after He allegedly breached her three-year contract with New York Models by joining the roster of rival agency Women Management. According to New York Models’ complaint, He – who has graced ad campaigns for Bloomingdale’s, Roberto Cavalli, Karl Lagerfeld, and Ralph Lauren, among others, and walked in Victoria’s Secret annual runway show (the second Chinese model to ever walk for the lingerie giant) – jumped ship to Women Management with a year left in her contract.
The complaint also states that in addition to being aware of He’s existing contract with New York Models, "Women [Management] placed a photo of Sui in its Fashion Week Show package, confirming that they had begun representing her in violation of her agreement with [New York Model Management]."
New York Models argued that it incurred "significant expenses and costs, both in terms of time, money and opportunity in building up the model to the point where she can book regular work," making He’s contract breach particularly damning. In her time with New York Models, He allegedly earned "approximately $3,500,000" under the agency’s direction before taking her talents to Women Management.
Despite settling the matter with He, New York Models is still pursuing legal action against Women Management and Ord, the latter of allegedly tried to lure He to Women Management in breach of her contract. New York Models alleges that Ord, who was employed by its agency until March 2015 before joining Women Management, is in breach of his non-compete agreement with New York Models. The agency claims that Ord was contractually obligated to avoid luring models and other clients from his former agency to the new one.
As for He, New York Models’ counsel Robert Hantman said: “She made a wise choice and is now back with New York Models, who made her a star.”