'Racist language not in my nature' - Model
Jessica Leandra says she will go for professional coaching to help her deal with instances of sexual harassment
Model Jessica Leandra dos Santos said at the weekend it was not in her nature to use racist language after she caused a row on social networking site Twitter.
“Over the past 24 hours I have had time to reflect back on my actions and I don’t have the words to express my sincere remorse following my unkindly and emotional outburst on Twitter recently,” Leandra said in a statement.
“The people that do know me, know that this is not my nature and verbal usage.”
Leandra came under fire on Friday after posting a racist tweet.
On Thursday evening, she told her Twitter followers: “Just, well took on an arrogant and disrespectful k***** inside Spar. Should have punched him, should have".
Leandra, who was men’s magazine FHM model of the year in 2011, has since deleted the post.
“No matter how much I was provoked, I do acknowledge that it was an inappropriate reaction to the incident. I have had time to reflect back on the incident and realise that I could have handled this differently,” she said.
Leandra said she had decided to get professional coaching to help her deal with instances of sexual harassment. “I am still very young and if I can learn how to handle this more appropriately, perhaps other young ladies and woman in general can also benefit and learn from my experience.”
She later apologised and removed the tweet, saying it was an outburst of anger and a stand against sexual harassment.
It was not her only derogatory tweet: in another, she referred to "rude African monkeys" after an argument with a petrol pump attendant. This has now also been removed.
This was her initial 'apology' for using the offensive k-word slur:
South Africans swiftly voiced their distaste at Leandra’s comments. And her modelling status is in doubt.
In a statement on its website FHM said Leandra had been stripped of her title as winner of the FHM Modelbook 2011 competition with immediate effect. “It’s important to us that it is noted that she in no way represents the magazine; she was merely the winner of an online poll we ran, and that we totally distance ourselves from her blatantly racist comments,” FHM editor Brendan Cooper said in the statement. “We have removed all pictures of her from our website and will have nothing to do with her in future.”
Kim Kardashian's QuickTrim SA, one of her sponsors, tweeted: “Due to the severity of the remarks by JessicaLeandra, QuickTrimSA herewith ends our sponsorship to her with immediate effect!”
A complaint against Leandra dos Santos has been lodged with the SA Human Rights Commission.