NZ Next Top Model fights off unwanted attacker in the Parisian capital

Danielle Hayes was the winner of season two of New Zealand's Next Top Model.
Danielle Hayes was the winner of season two of New Zealand's Next Top Model.

New Zealand's Next Top Model winner Danielle Hayes has shared how she fought off an unwanted advance on a dark night in the so-called City of Love - Paris.

In an interview with Mind food Style, to be published in its next edition out tomorrow, the model told how she suffered long-lasting emotional scars as a result of the attack by a stranger outside her Parisian apartment, Fairfax reported.

In the interview the model, 25, described how a man had tried to force himself on her while she was living in the French capital three years ago.

She'd gone to Paris, after her appearance on the second cycle of the New Zealand edition of the reality show propelled her to fame, in order to escape the unwanted attention it had brought.

According to Fairfax, Hayes, who comes from the small Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau, said life changed dramatically for her after winning the 2010 competition.

"After I won, everything changed, I was abused on the street," she said.

"People threw cigarettes and bottles at me. I got the good and bad of 'being famous'. Mum and Dad got hate mail too. I stayed away from New Zealand until it died down then went home to Kawerau."

Hayes found her escape by finding modelling gigs across the world.

However, while living in central Paris she soon found herself the subject of a stranger's unwanted advances.

In her interview with Mind food Style she told of how the strange man had approached her outside her apartment one night in 2013.

She told the magazine a man approached Hayes and began speaking to her in French. Hayes said when she tried to continue onto her apartment the man caught up to her and grabbed her arms, pinning her against a wall.

"I got away and ran to my front door. He was right behind me, so I fought to keep him out, and eventually I did."

However, Hayes said the man managed to get into the apartment building while she was waiting to catch an elevator to her floor.

She said he pushed her into the elevator and attempted to strip her of her clothes.

It was then her martial-arts experience kicked in.

"I was punching him as hard as I could - I did Taekwondo for 10 years, Dad was my instructor, so I know some self-defence. I punched him in the throat so he lost oxygen and went down," she told Mind food Style.

When the elevator doors finally opened, Hayes said she screamed at her flatmate: "This guy's trying to rape me."

She told the magazine her flatmate chased the man down the street with a knife and a frying pan, but he managed to make a getaway.

"I just cried. What was even harder was going to the police station to report it. Eventually it was all dropped; they couldn't find him and the language barrier was a problem."

While Hayes said she'd attempted to just put it behind her, the experience had left emotional scars.

She'd returned home to her family's seaside Bach to recuperate with some hunting and fishing, before eventually returning to Paris and modelling.

Hayes has also landed her first big screen gig - cameo appearances in the film Ghost in the Shell which is being shot in Wellington.

She plays six different characters so should be spotted at regular intervals throughout the movie.

- NZ Herald

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