Gigi Hadid was lifted off the ground by a stranger while exiting a Milan Fashion Week show, and managed to quickly fight her way out of the man’s grasp.

Gigi Hadid On MFW Incident

As Hadid exited the Max Mara show at Milan Fashion Week, she was caught by surprise when she felt someone wrap their arms around her and try to lift her up. Hadid immediately tried to get away, snapping back her elbow in self-defense. After extricating herself, Hadid followed the man, shouting, “Who the f— are you, you piece of s–t?!” before going to her car.

“I remember taking the time, as it all felt slo-mo, to look at him, a stranger, and my first reaction was: ‘Get me out of this situation.’ I played volleyball, and my coaches talked about muscle memory. I started boxing two years ago and I always remembered that,” Hadid explained to Lenny Letter. “Since then, 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 that fighter in me.”

The stranger turned out to be serial red carpet-crasher Vitalii Sediuk, who afterwards claimed that he was trying to make a point about the current state of the fashion industry. Hadid, unaware of who Sediuk was, maintains that in such a situation, she and any other girl would have every right to react with force.

“Honestly, 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,” Hadid explained. “Practicing self-defense is important so that when you’re in the moment, reacting from muscle memory comes more naturally to you than freezing up.”

After the incident, some reports acted as though Hadid was overreacting to an overzealous “fan,” and that “model behavior” was not on display. To that, Hadid takes rightful umbrage.

“What would you tell your daughter to do?” she asks. “If my behavior isn’t model behavior, then what is? What would you have told your daughter to do in that situation?”

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