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More from News
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 17:15 EST, 10 January 2014 | UPDATED: 19:16 EST, 10 January 2014
Former male supermodel Hoyt Richards has revealed that Fabio saved him from the depths of a doomsday cult.
Mr Richards, 51, starred in Versace ads throughout the 80s all the while living a double life as a member of Eternal Values, he has told the New York Post.
In the early 2000s famous romance novel cover boy Fabio let Mr Richards live with him rent-free for a year in Los Angeles to recuperate after he left the group broke and shattered.
Close friends: Hoyt Richards (right) says that Fabio (left) saved his life after he abandoned a strict doomsday cult
At the age of 16 Mr Richards met Eternal Value members while on vacation in Nantucket.
By the end of college he was deeply invested in the group – which thought a sudden shift of the Earth’s magnetic poles would cause the end of humanity.
Throughout his involvement in Eternal Values Mr Richards was forced to do awful tasks and participate in ‘hot seat’ sessions where he was screamed at by fellow cult members for up to 20 hours.
All the while, Mr Richards was discovered as a model during his enrollment at Princeton University.
'Everyone else was living it up, but I was like, “No, I can’t. The end of the world is coming”’
He quickly worked his way up the ranks, and just a few years later found himself to be the only cult member at top photographer Steven Meisel’s birthday party.
‘I’m in a bustier, and I’ve got Naomi Campbell in a thong behind me, Christy Turlington in a thong in front of me,’ he recalled of the bash in conversation with The Post.
‘I’m thinking, “How many millions of guys would want to be where I am right now?”’
But the experience was not as crazy as it could have been. ‘Everyone else was living it up,’ he said.
‘But I was like, “No, no. I can’t. The end of the world is coming.”’
Afterlife: Mr Richards now lives between New York and LA and works as an actor and filmmaker
Mr Richards says that he felt like
‘Johnny Supermodel, talking the Concorde all over the world. Meanwhile,
my life was controlled. I was living a double life.’
He served as a seasonal model for H&M alongside a small group of other standbys.
But on his travels Mr Richards was still required to check in with cult leaders.
During each H&M shoot the models would convene for ‘Pagan Night’ where they would ‘have this big dinner, [and] then it was a free-for-all,’ he says.
Business partners: Mr Richards and Fabio have released a film together called Dumbbells that is inspired by their time together at Vertical Club
Mr Richards was barred from having a serious romantic relationship and did not see his parents for twelve years.
He says that he had sexual encounters with supermodels, but could not make them his girlfriend because he was consumed with saving the world
While modeling, Mr Richards became friendly with Fabio.
two were both signed to Ford Models and worked out together at the same
gym – the Upper East Side’s Vertical Club, a see-and-be-seen fitness
establishment that helped define New York’s hedonistic Eighties culture.
When Mr Richards decided to leave the cult, he turned to Fabio for life-saving help.
At 37, he had abandoned Eternal Values because he was worried that he could not achieve the group’s high standards.
By the end of his involvement, Eternal Values had managed to squeeze Mr Richards of close to $4.5 million, he says.
‘One of the few places I knew I could go where I wouldn’t be asked a lot of questions was Fabio’s,’ he said.
Mr Richards lived with Fabio rent-free for a year in his Los Angeles home. ‘If I had to write a memoir, there would be a chapter about how Fabio saved my life,’ he said.
The former model, who was named by Vogue
as one of the top 25 male models of all time, sued the cult in 2002
and recovered some of the money he had given them.
Cheeky idea: They have been promoting Dumbbells with entertaining campaigns that mock the current award season nomination process
His lawsuit effectively shut the group’s operations down.
Mr Richards now lives a bicoastal life between New York and Los Angeles where he works as a filmmaker and actor.
He got into the business at the suggestion of a therapist, who advised that Mr Richardson immerse himself in a creative project to help him get over his traumas.
He and Fabio are now promoting a film that they made together called Dumbells, which is available on-Demand and in theaters today.
The film is inspired by their time together at the Vertical Club.
‘Since I left the cult I have been living my life on my own terms for the first time ever,’ [sic] he says.