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Model's suit names Orem firm

A professional model is suing an Orem-based cosmetics distributor for selling a face cream that allegedly scarred her face, damaging her ability to land modeling contracts.

Before and after photos of Catherine King, a California model who is suing Unicity for distributing a cream she says scarred her face.

Catherine King, who lives in California, in April 2003 purchased a bottle of Be Night Recovery Serum, distributed by Unicity. She says she developed open sores on her face right after she started using the cream, which she says contained metal shavings.

King's lawsuit in Provo's 4th District Court says she didn't initially connect skin irritations and blemishes with the product. However, when she opened a finished bottle, she found a black lubricant-like substance in the pump, tubing and bottle, according to court documents.

The open sores healed but left pock-like marks on her face, the suit says.

King, whose pictures have appeared in Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar and Shape, has also done TV ads for Christian Dior cosmetics, Pantene, Miller Beer and food-making companies, according to court documents provided by her modeling agent.
She filed a lawsuit in 4th District Court in March 2005, asking for damages for future lost wages.

Now that the skin on her face is flawed, certain companies may not be interested in having her promote their products, said her attorney Robert Sykes.

Her modeling agency estimated that over a 15-year span, the scarring will cost King $4 to $5 million in lost revenue.

However, there is not yet a damage amount listed in the lawsuit.

The suit names Unicity, as well as the Japanese company Shiseido, and an American company, Davlyn Industries, believed to have made the serum.

Unicity is just a distributor not a producer of the cream and other cosmetic products, said Steven Densley, who represents Unicity.

Fourth District Judge James Taylor ruled last week that Densley and Terry Plant, who is representing Shiseido and Davlyn, are entitled to see tax returns from King, both from the United States and Canada.

Catherine King alleges a cream contained metal shavings and damaged her ability to land contracts.

"The plaintiff has made a claim for lost wages," Densley said. "We're trying to determine what her past income was in order to determine what it might be in the future and how it was affected by this accident."

Sykes fought the release of the tax documents, citing federal privacy laws and the irrelevance of any income not directly tied to modeling.

The attorneys have until Oct. 5 to gather evidence.