MOORESVILLE, N..C – A local mom is speaking out and accusing a local fashion show organizer of kicking her daughter off the runway because she has Down’s Syndrome. Tina Carroll says her daughter showed up to model for a fashion show in Mooresville on September 25th. She says when rehearsal started, the show organizer, Rita Miles, “yelled and screamed” and told her daughter, 23-year-old Jennifer Carroll, that she could not walk in the show because she didn’t meet the height requirement.
Jennifer had already walked in the show the night before, and had been invited to walk again by a designer in the show. Carroll says other models who didn’t meet the height requirement were able to walk. She says her daughter was discriminated against. Carroll tells WCCB, “She (Jennifer) didn’t deserve to be treated that way. She’s been modeling for five years, we’ve worked with Charlotte Seen before, she’s done several shows with them, and everything was fine.” And, “That’s why I had to speak out. I can’t let her (Rita) treat Jennifer the way she did and get away with it. It’s just not right.”
Another model at the show emailed WCCB a statement that says in part, she and Jen “…stood in line together to get our hair and makeup. Once it was our turn, Rita told Jen that she wasn’t allowed to walk. I realized that wasn’t fair and I said if she couldn’t walk then I wouldn’t walk either.”
Rita Miles sent WCCB a statement, too, that reads in part: “Jennifer had already walked the runway Friday, so she was not scheduled nor did she meet the height requirement for the Saturday night show…,” and, “I have always operated my business with the outmost respect for everyone.”
A man associated with the fashion show called the police on Jennifer, her mom and the other model, saying they were trespassing. The Mooresville Police arrived and asked the three ladies to leave, which they did.