Model Gemma Ward has been missing from the runways and a recent Page Six Magazine article takes a look at many sides of the story, although neither Ward or her agency IMG would comment. She remains listed on IMG's website, but she hasn't worked in two years.
Ward broke into modeling at age 14, eight years ago and was shot for more than 20 Vogue covers and walked in countless runway shows. She was hailed as "an archangel from Neptune," a "porcelain doll" and a "Siamese kitten." But from the moment she first struck a pose, it was clear that she might not have been aware of what she'd gotten herself into:
"She was a baby," the source says of his first shoot with Ward. "A little girl, completely wide-eyed and lovely, and she had this entourage around her, handlers, all of these adults whose incomes depended on her looking a certain way." Ward, he recalls, seemed vaguely stunned by all the attention. "Models that young don't always understand what they're getting into, what the future will be if their bodies change."
But by the end of 2007, the industry was already buzzing about Ward's supposed 10-to-15 pound weight gain. One editor said she looked "big, almost bloated." People searched for answers, blaming her filling out on actor Heath Ledger's death, who was Ward's boyfriend when he passed. But casting director Olga Liriano told Page Six that Ward was simply becoming a woman:
"A woman's metabolism changes in her twenties. Maybe trying to stay in a business where a size zero is the norm was too much for her, and not worth the sacrifice."
Either way, editors like Glamour's Cindi Leive say that they would welcome Ward with open arms if she wanted to pose in their pages. For now, it's unclear if Ward even wants to model. Sources say she's pursuing a career in acting or looking into enrolling at Yale.