Swedish model in hiding after UK politician sting

Maddy Savage
Maddy Savage - [email protected]
Swedish model in hiding after UK politician sting
Malin Sahlén during a Top Model shoot. Photo: TV3/Nina Holma

A Swedish model whose photo was used in a British tabloid newspaper sting without her permission has described the incident as "something terrible".


A picture of Malin Sahlén, 22, was used by the Sunday Mirror newspaper, on a fake Twitter account, purporting to belong to Sophie Wittams, a communications officer for the ruling Conservative Party in the UK.
But Sophie Wittams doesn't exist. The person using the account was actually a male freelance reporter who allegedly took Malin Sahlén's photo from Instagram.
The journalist sent messages to a British minister, Brooks Newmark, 56, who resigned over the weekend after his lewd replies to her became public.
"Just wanted to inform all my readers that something terrible happened to me today," Malin Sahlén posted on her blog on Sunday night.

Brooks Newark. Photo: BBC
"Right now, I feel very confused and don't understand what's happened. I can blog about it another day, but right now, I don't have the energy to explain."
The model told the Aftonbladet newspaper: "I am shocked and it is unpleasant anyone used the picture without permission".
The fake Twitter account has since been deactivated but messages revealed in the British media suggest that Brooks Newark asked 'Sophie' to send him a photo "without hands in the way and with legs spread apart."
According to the Sunday Mirror, Newmark also wrote: "I will send you something in return." 
The scandal broke as the Conservative Party began its annual conference and the British Prime Minister David Cameron admitted that it was "not an ideal start" to the event.
Sahlén has proved hard to reach since the scandal broke. When The Local tried to talk to her, neighbour Håkan Askdal said the woman had previously rented a room from him and his wife but that she had moved "a few weeks ago" to another part of Stockholm. The couple live in the apartment with their young child.

Previous landlord Håkan Askdal. Photo: Maddy Savage/The Local

He described her as "a nice girl" and said she had never caused any problems.

Another neighbour confirmed that she knew a model had lived on the second floor of the apartment until recently. She said she understood that her former landlord Håkan Askdal and his wife had been in touch with the model earlier in the day and that she had said she "didn't want to speak" about the sting.
Sahlén, who appeared on the TV3's television show Sweden's Next Top Model this year, is a regular blogger and is active on a number of social media channels. 


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