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Wednesday 17 January 2018

'Well-known Irish businessman tried to strip me naked' reveals Amanda

Amanda Brunker says she feels ‘sick’ thinking back to the incident,
which took place after she became Miss Ireland in 1991. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Amanda Brunker says she feels ‘sick’ thinking back to the incident, which took place after she became Miss Ireland in 1991. Photo: Caroline Quinn

Former Miss Ireland Amanda Brunker has revealed she was asked to perform a sex act by a "well-known" Irish businessman after she won the beauty pageant at the age of only 17 in 1991.

Herald columnist Amanda told how she was lured into a secluded room by the prominent individual, who made sexual advances.

During the sleazy encounter, she said the businessman tried to ply her with drugs and alcohol before asking her to strip off and put on lingerie.

After she spurned his advances, he bought her silence by giving her £1,000 in cash.

Rocked

Amanda Brunker, Miss Ireland 1991.
Amanda Brunker, Miss Ireland 1991.

Describing it as her "Harvey Weinstein moment", she spoke out after two weeks of shocking revelations about the movie producer that have rocked Hollywood.

Actresses Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Cara Delevingne and Kate Beckinsale are among those to have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault.

"Like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow and millions of other young women, I too had my own Harvey Weinstein moment back in the early 90s," Amanda said.

"I was the newly-crowned Miss Ireland and my casting couch predator lured me to a secure and secluded place and attempted to ply me with champagne and cocaine.

"After I escaped, they bought me off by giving me £1,000 to buy myself some clothes for the Miss World competition. Talk about cheap.

"Looking back, I feel sick by the whole thing."

Alison Doody. Photo: Anthony Woods
Alison Doody. Photo: Anthony Woods

The young Amanda was lured into the "trap" by an associate "loosely connected" to the Miss Ireland pageant.

"He told me a West End producer wanted to meet with me and I naively believed him. He was, after all, a friend of people I trusted," she said.

"When I walked into the trap, I discovered my West End producer was merely a well-known Irish businessman. I recognised him immediately.

"He was joined by his gamey assistant - a woman who is no friend of other women.

"I soon learned that both of them wanted to strip off my clothes and perform sex acts - a situation similar to Cara Delevingne."

Amanda is among a number of high-profile Irish women to speak about abuse in the entertainment and media industries in light of the Weinstein scandal.

Actresses Alison Doody and Sonya Macari, as well as Minister of State Helen McEntee, spoke as Weinstein was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body that presents the Oscars.

Ms Macari said she once saw the disgraced movie boss openly "maul" women at an Oscar's week party, at one stage putting his hand inside his trousers, but nobody did anything.

Former Bond girl Ms Doody, meanwhile, said she was once asked to date a movie boss and then warned that rejecting him could affect her career.

"He had seen me at a premiere and asked if I would accompany him as his date to a movie premiere," she said.

"I said no because I wasn't comfortable putting myself in that position. It wasn't so much the premiere itself but the connotations of what would be expected if I decided to go along and what could come after that.

Backside

"The person called me back two minutes later to say, 'Look, this person is not very happy about this. I am advising you to go'. I said, 'I'm sorry, I'm going to stand my ground. I don't want to go'.

"And they said, 'Well, Alison, you could lose out on an awful lot of work because of this'."

Minister of State for European Affairs Ms McEntee said: "I've been in situations talking to someone and a guy would rest their hand on my backside.

"Now everyone is realising any of this type of behaviour is simply not acceptable."

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