Story Time

The cocaine photos that ruined Kate Moss’ modeling career

The Daily Mirror in the United Kingdom published blurry camera-phone stills of supermodel Kate Moss seated on a leather couch in a London recording studio, chopping and snorting multiple lines of cocaine with the rapid surety of a seasoned user on Sept. 15. (Moss allegedly sucked up five lines in 40 minutes with a £5 note, according to most reports.)

H&M, the Swedish apparel giant, responded by saying it would offer Moss a “second chance” in its next ad campaign for its new Stella McCartney brand. She’d signed a written declaration promising to stay “healthy, wholesome, and sound” like a repentant schoolgirl.

But H&M later changed it’s position, and said that the campaign would be scrapped entirely. Burberry and Chanel, two of Moss’ several contract clients, followed suit the next day: The former dropped the model from its autumn ad campaign, while the latter said only that she had “no plans” to continue working with her once her contract expired.

Senior police sources also informed the Guardian that she would be interviewed “very likely” after an inquiry into alleged cocaine use was launched.

Her contract with Rimmel, a make-up company geared at adolescent females, is also understood to be up for review.

However, Moss’ statement on Thursday did not acknowledge any drug usage by the 31-year-old, a subject that has surrounded her since the Daily Mirror released photos last week that appeared to show her ingesting cocaine.

“I take full responsibility for my actions. I also accept that there are various personal issues that I need to address and have started taking the difficult, yet necessary, steps to resolve them,” Moss said in a statement.

“I want to apologize to all of the people I have let down because of my behavior, which has reflected badly on my family, friends, co-workers, business associates and others,” she stated.

“I am trying to be positive, and the support and love I have received are invaluable.”

September should have been a month to savor for Moss. She was going to become the first model to appear on the cover of Vogue for the tenth time. She was earning $4 million a year from lucrative modeling jobs.

But Kate Moss’s crucifixion was about to begin. The tabloid published grainy images of Moss gorging on cocaine inside a recording studio in west London on September 15 under the heading “High as a Kate.” The allure of the story was incredible. She had one of the most recognizable faces in the world, and she was abusing narcotics in large quantities.

Irate consumers and enraged bloggers argue that the Swedish business, which sells inexpensive goods to teenagers and young people, has a responsibility to openly condemn such behavior. “After the feedback from customers and other papers we decided we should distance ourselves from any kind of drug abuse,” an H&M representative told the New York Times.

It was a surprise excuse, given that the management had to be aware of rumors regarding the model’s proclivity for sex and drugs.

Meanwhile, Burberry announced on Wednesday that an autumn campaign starring Moss had been canceled by mutual consent.

“Kate has always been a fantastic model and a highly Burberry professional,” it stated.

“We are saddened by her current circumstances and hope she overcomes her problems as soon as possible. We wish Kate all the best.”

Fashion businesses used her party girl image to bolster their products, according to public relations guru Max Clifford. However, images showing her inhaling class A drugs put them at danger of financial harm as a result of the association. “Companies suspecting she’s taking drugs is one thing, but when it’s shown, it’s a different ball game. It risks damaging them in the only way they care about, financially,” he said. Mr Clifford also assessed her career as “rapidly disintegrating”.

According to the conspiracy theory, the Mirror was out to harm Moss after she won a libel case against its sister publication. She collapsed in a “cocaine coma” at a charity event in Barcelona in 2001, according to the Sunday Mirror in January. It revealed this summer that its story was false. Moss agreed to unspecified libel damages. The Mirror editor Richard Wallace then requested proof that Moss uses narcotics, according to competitors.

“This was about getting a big scoop,” one explains. When the photographs were first seen, there was joy at the newspaper’s offices in London’s Canary Wharf. When the photographs were opened on their picture editor’s screen, the Mirror’s top staff “beamed with 100 per cent-proof rapture.”

Moss could potentially face a police investigation after Britain’s top cop, Ian Blair, announced he had personally ordered a Scotland Yard probe.

If cocaine was found in her system, she may be prosecuted with possession of a Class A substance or given a warning. Blair stated that the impact of Moss on young people would be considered while deciding whether or not to charge her.

He also seemed to imply that if there was a case against her, a charge rather than a caution would be preferable.

“We have to look at the impact of this kind of behavior on impressionable young people and if there is evidence, something should be done about it,” Blair said.

“I can remember being asked a question about a previous individual who was given a caution. I think that was a wrong decision.”

The Metropolitan Police Service’s investigation will examine all relevant evidence, including asking the Daily Mirror to reveal who shot the photo and who was there when the drug was purportedly taken. According to a senior Scotland Yard source: “We want to look at the network behind it. We’re not picking on her because of who she is.”

Even if Moss is found guilty of drug use, she is unlikely to go to jail. According to a police source, “If people admit using cocaine or go into rehab we give them a caution. It’s very likely she’ll be interviewed … even if just for intelligence purposes.”