'America's Most Smartest Model' contestant Andre Birleanu arrested
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/29/2007
America's Most Smartest Model contestant Andre Birleanu was reportedly charged with sexual misconduct and aggravated harassment on Thursday due to an incident earlier this month in which he allegedly groped a 19-yea-old woman.
The 25-year-old Manhattan, NY native who is originally from Russia allegedly grabbed the 19-year-old actress during a fashion party at Cipriani Downtown on October 10 after the two met through a mutual acquaintance, The New York Postreported Friday.
"He's just a very, very scary, intimidating person," Birleanu's accuser, whose name is being withheld due to the nature of the alleged attack, told The Post. "He's so explosive. You can see it in his eyes. He has this insane thing inside of him."
Birleanu's alleged attacker claims she was initially introduced to him on a train before the incident occurred at the restaurant, according to The Post.
"He grabbed me inappropriately," she told The Post. "It was midnight or 1AM when this happened. It was upstairs. It's like a very exclusive lounge, snobby thing - young, aspiring models and all the men who can afford to look at them... He touched my genitalia, and I immediately moved away. Then I looked over, and he looked really upset... I went up to him. And he was standing there with his head down. He said something along the lines of 'No.' He then grabbed my boob."
Birleanu was arraigned on the sexual misconduct and aggravated harassment charges on Thursday night.
"I didn't molest anyone..." said Birleanu following the arraignment, according to The Post. "I already slept with that girl, so it's strange she would say I touched her inappropriately."
Birleanu was cast as one of 14 contestants participating in VH1's new America's Most Smartest Model reality competition series, in which seven men and seven women compete in a of series challenges designed to test both their brains and beauty for the chance to win a $100,000 prize.
Prior to appearing on the show, The Post reported Birleanu was cast in ads for Converse and Saks Fifth Avenue, but has also been sent to prison six times since 2000 on charges including assault, harassment, criminal contempt, criminal mischief and trespassing. His longest prison stint saw him spend six months at Rikers in 2003 for assault, contempt and harassment, according to The Post.
At the time of his arrest on Thursday morning, The Post reported Birleanu was free on $3,500 bail stemming from October 17 charges of stalking, aggravated harassment and attempted assault on a model friend. Birleanu is reportedly accused of leaving "menacing messages" for the friend -- including two in which he allegedly threatened to break her legs -- before finding her in the street and grabbing her hair.
"I was in total shock," the alleged victim told The Post. "He pulled my hair once. He stopped. I crossed the street... I started running, and he screamed at me, 'I'm going to break your f**king legs.'"