Gigi Hadid Fights Off Strange Man in Milan, Criticism Online

Dylan Fairooz, Staff Reporter

The international supermodel Gigi Hadid made headlines when she elbowed a complete stranger in the face in Milan.

Hadid had been traveling a lot with it being fashion week in the Italian city.

In videos and photos on, Hadid and her sister, Bella, were seen leaving their Max Mara show walking towards their car when a stranger came up behind Gigi and picks her up, holding with what looked like a tight grip.

Hadid quickly elbowed the man, later identified as Vitalii Sediuk, in the face, releasing her from his grip.

After this she runs after him saying “Who the f— are you, you piece of s—!”

After this incident. There was a flood of reactions from many on social media. Some Milan showgoers posted comments to the effect, “She has every right to defend herself.”

Yet there was  one comment that rubbed Gigi the wrong way. Rachel McGrath, a writer from the Huffington Post says, “Gigi Hadid aggressively lashes out and elbows a fan in the face after he tries to pick her up.”

Hadid then responded on Twitter saying, “Thank you Rachel. Fan?!! The actual fans that were there can tell you what happened. I am a HUMAN BEING.”

In later tweets the model asserts that she “had every right to defend myself” and “ How dare that idiot thinks he has the right to man-handle me. A complete stranger.”

Hadid later opens up the the press about why she reacted the way she did.

She explained that she played volleyball in high school and that she remembered her coach talking to her about muscle memory.

“I started boxing two years ago. I always remembered that. Since then, I had not been in a situation that forced me to fight back, but it just came out when he grabbed me.”

She couldn’t understand why HuffPost’s McGrath mis-read the situation.

HuffPost’s first article that was posted about the incident was headlined as, “Not model behavior… the supermodel angrily hits an unknown man before running to her car.”

Hadid didn’t understand why the writer titled the article that why because the writer is a female. Hadid then says, “ What would you have told your daughter in that situation?”

It certainly does seem that any person, but especially a woman, grabbed aggressively by a strange male in a public place is entitled to react defensively.  In Italy, where men are infamously known as quite sexist this seems required, even.

She hopes that her battle helped to inspire girls all around to be aware of their surroundings, and to know that confidence in yourself is key.