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In a new interview with actress Lena Dunham, model Gigi Hadid has opened up about the moment she was physically picked up the in street by a random man outside the Max Mara show in Milan. Published in Dunham’s newsletter, Lenny Letter, Hadid made it clear she wont be made “to feel like anyone’s property”. A past volleyball player and avid boxer, the model says her first reaction was to get herself out of the situation. “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 a fighter in me.” 

“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”, continued Hadid. “Practising self-defence is so important so that when you’re in the moment, reacting from muscle memory comes more naturally to you than freezing up… a massive advantage when in an unsafe situation.” 

First reports painted Hadid as “rude, bratty and ungrateful for a the blessing of fan attention”, something Hadid has strongly hit out against. She zeroed in on ne report in particular which ran the headline “Not Model Behaviour: Gigi aggressively lashes out and elbows fan in the face after he tries to pick her up”. “That’s when I really got pissed,” says Hadid. “First of all, it was a woman who wrote the story with that headline. 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 said shortly after the incident, her mum, Yolanda, texted her with a picture of the incident showing her elbowing her attacker. It was captioned, “Good girl”. The video is quite chilling to watch as you see the man lurking behind Hadid before picking her up. It also begged the question at the time where Hadid’s security was. The man in question is known in the entertainment industry as pulling stunts like this in the past, the most recent being kissing actor Will Smith on the lips at a red carpet event. 

We solidly support Hadid’s mean left hook to set herself free from a stranger. Read her full account here.