A beauty pageant winner has told fans “today I am angry” after she reported being attacked with rocks by a gang of teenagers on the streets of Paris.
In a message shared with her 568,000 fans on Instagram, Vaimalama Chaves said the assault was carried out by a group of youths “with no values”, who surrounded her in an encounter on Saturday that quickly turned hostile.
In the paragraph that begins “Dear fam, today I’m angry because I got attacked”, she claims that they taunted her, and also tried to steal her mobile phone.
An accompanying video clip posted by the singer-model, now deleted, shows the group dispersing into the neighbouring streets and covering their faces at the end of the ambush.
Her Instagram story also blasted police, who she said had still not attended the scene of her alleged attack “an hour after” she contacted them.
Quoting them as saying “it’s okay, she only received pebbles”, Vaimalama responded publicly: “No sir, I didn’t just get pebbles, they tried to steal my phone. They had fun throwing me more when I was leaving”
Regional newspaper La Depeche reported (in French) that the incident left her distressed about violence in the French city compared to the peace of her ancestral home island in Oceania, saying: “Polynesia taught me gentleness and kindness but here, in Paris, all my achievements have no place.
“There is no respect. No tolerance either.”
She also discussed how unsafe the attack left her feeling as a woman, lamenting: “Why should we be silent?
“Why should we suffer? I’m disappointed that I don’t know what to do (…) I’m really angry. I feel so weak and helpless!”
“Everyone, let everyone know what’s going on because it’s not your fault. Whether you are wearing a skirt, whether you are wearing makeup, whether you exist as you, exist more, and live.”
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Others shared her worry, with one French internet commenter responding: “France today is not a pretty sight and the insecurity felt is growing.”
Ms Chaves has had a successful career in modelling and beauty pageantry, winning Miss Tahiti 2018 and Miss France 2019.
In more recent times she has started a music career, with her debut studio album ‘Good Vaïbes’ released in February 2020.
She took part in the annual Adidas 10 km Paris race the day after the attack, finishing with a time of 1 hour and 3 minutes.
Ms Chaves will also enter next Friday as a contestant in the eleventh season of ‘Danse avec les stars’, a French version of the primetime American celebrity dance competition Dancing with the Stars.