Sunday 20 May 2018

Amanda Brunker: 'An Irish tycoon tried to convince me to perform sex acts when I was 17'

Amanda Brunker
Amanda Brunker
Amanda Brunker celebrated in Lillie's.
Amanda Brunker at the IFTA Gala Television Awards 2016
Amanda Brunker at the VIP Style Awards 2014
Amanda Brunker was just 17 when she was crowned Miss Ireland in 1991
Amanda Brunker.

Mary McDonnell

Columnist Amanda Brunker has revealed the sordid harassment she endured at the hands of a ”powerful” Irish businessman when she was just a teenager.

The former Miss Ireland labelled the wealthy figure a "monster" and compared him to disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein who has been accused of abusing dozens of young actresses for decades.

Amanda Brunker was just 17 when she was crowned Miss Ireland in 1991
Amanda Brunker was just 17 when she was crowned Miss Ireland in 1991

Ms Brunker said the prominent businessman lured her to a secluded place and tried to ply her with cocaine and convince her to perform sex acts when she was 17. He bought her silence with £1,000.

In an interview with The Sunday World, the 43-year-old said: "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.

"I was 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 a £1,000 to buy myself some clothes for the Miss World competition. Talk about cheap," she said.

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

Amanda Brunker at the VIP Style Awards 2014
Amanda Brunker at the VIP Style Awards 2014

The young Ms Brunker was lured into a "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. 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 very similar to Cara Delevingne."

Ms Brunker is the latest high-profile Irish woman to open up about abuse in the entertainment and media industries as Weinstein’s alleged victims continue to come forward.

Amanda Brunker at the IFTA Gala Television Awards 2016
Amanda Brunker at the IFTA Gala Television Awards 2016

On Friday, columnist Terry Prone detailed how a well-known Irish radio host would strip naked from the waist down and sit beside her in studio when she was just 16. Weinstein was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board yesterday over the string of harassment and assault allegations that have emerged against him, spanning over decades.

Ms Brunker revealed she too was “terrified” to speak out against the harassment she experience.

"Speaking out is hard to do. In hindsight I know I should have, I suppose I was terrified no-one would believe me," she said.

"I was also worried I would have been judged and chastised for freely walking into a dangerous situation. After all, I had been wearing a short skirt. I was probably asking for it right?

"I am angry at myself that I didn't report this man. But he was very powerful. I was just a kid from Finglas. I barely had the price of a bus fare, never mind a lawyer.

"All I can hope is that he has changed his ways and that my silence didn't put others at risk."

Online Editors

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