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Another model speaks out about sexual harassment at Maxim Super Bowl Party

Nikoline Bangen flew in from Norway for the party, but left dejected.
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Another model has spoken out about the sexual harassment she and other women were subjected to at the Maxim Super Bowl Party in Minneapolis.

Norwegian model and actor Nikoline Bangen contacted GoMN after we shared the experiences of Molly Rennick and Felicia Jo Cluraghty at the exclusive event in the Minneapolis North Loop the night before the Super Bowl.

Bangen was invited to the event after placing in the "Maxim's Finest" competition, for which her family and friends paid to vote for her to win a $25,000 prize and a four-page modeling spread, with the voting proceeds going to a charity for wounded veterans.

She paid for flights to the Twin Cities from Norway, and had a designer she works closely with for charitable endeavors provide a one-of-a-kind dress just for the party.

When she got there though, she witnessed the same harassment from male attendees that had been described to GoMN by her fellow models.

"There were people there who were legitimately there to network and have a good night," she told us. "However it did quickly become clear that us girls were there more as 'eyecandy' and 'entertainment' for the men that were there than anything. 

"There were men implying that the only way I could get a photo on the red carpet if I would 'come find them in their VIP section'.

"I was slapped on the ass and spoken to as if I was only there for their pleasure. I was still one of the lucky ones, Molly and Felicia experienced worse."

She posted on Facebook about her experience on Thursday, saying "we were basically expected to just walk around and accept being groped, offered careers for sex and money and being told 'I'll get you into the VIP-section for a photo if you just do this'."


Furious models lift the lid on sexual harassment at Maxim Super Bowl Party.

Not what she signed up for

Bangen says modeling events she attended in Europe did not prepare her for what she was confronted with at the Maxim event on Saturday. 

"All the girls I was there with were so disappointed, because we were all under the impression that the event would be a little classier than that," she said. "What we were faced with was not something I want to be associated with at all."

She added: "In Norway, all the events I have attended have been very well planned and proper - they also follow through on what they promise instead of giving us the impression that it is going to be something other than what it is."

She says she never would have attended had she been told in advance what the event would be like, saying: "That is not something I want my name and brand to be associated with."

"Alarm bells should have rung when the event was moved, or when nobody there would answer my questions or concerns in advance," she said. "Some of the local girls I was with told me that this is 'normal' in America and that lots of events are like this."

"That is shocking to me. The fact that a brand as big as Maxim is allowing something like this to happen to an event they have their name attached to is very sad. We do not deserve to be treated like pieces of meat just because we chose to become models. It's a tough enough industry without all that."

The experience of Bangen and other models at the event speaks to the growing outrage surrounding the #MeToo movement, challenging those in positions of power for historic sexual abuse and harassment.

During her decade in the modeling and movie industry, Bangen says she's been confronted with "men claiming I will never get famous unless I undress and do nudes" and "offering to rub me in with lotion at shoots because my skin is 'a little dry' - as if I couldn't do that myself."

"I have also been to castings and offered a lead in movies, then having the director call me in the middle of the night asking if he can come stay in my apartment for the night," she added. "He would then abuse me and tell me I wasn't the right choice after all when I refuse."

GoMN has once again reached out to Karma International, which produced the party, as well as Maxim Magazine. 

Both have failed to respond to our requests for comments so far. This story will be updated if they do.

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