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Five days later, her funeral was a quiet affair, attended only by her immediate family, with a closed casket recommended for the woman whose exquisite face and fabulous figure had once stunned the fashion world.None of the photographers who had clamoured to capture her, or the fashionistas who excitedly watched her strut down a catwalk were there, or even knew she had died.In 1971, Kathleen left the family home for good and later remarried, seeing her children at fairly irregular intervals much to the distress of her daughter, who was never able to overcome her sense of abandonment, as a friend recalled, As well as her mother’s departure, Gia eventually revealed that she had been molested at the age of five, an experience that left her traumatised.After being discovered by a local photographer whilst working in one of her father’s restaurants, Gia appeared in several advertisements in Philadelphia before moving to New York in 1978.Gia was signed by Wilhelmina Models straight away, with the agency’s owner Wilhelmina Cooper, who would become her mentor, enraptured by her On that shoot, Gia met make-up artist Sandy Linter, a striking blonde woman in her late 20s, who had already made a name for herself as one of New York’s top make-up artists.Gia’s instant attraction to Linter was only intensified after the two agreed to pose nude for von Wangenheim that same day.In March 1980, Wilhelmina Cooper died of lung cancer at only 40 years of age, leaving Gia devastated as she wrote in her journal, ‘I don’t know what is happening in my life, nothing seems or feels right to me.
Since her early teens, she had been open about her sexuality, something many friends and classmates spoke about to Gia’s biographer Stephen Fried, with one recalling that As Fried discovered, Gia’s first female lover, was a petite blonde named Sharon Beverly, whom she met at DCA, a gay club in Philadelphia, although like Linter, Beverly was exclusively heterosexual by the time Fried interviewed her. I pray that things fall into place.’ A drug user since her teens, Gia had dabbled with marijuana and Quaaludes, with one observer remembering how early in her career on a shoot in Mustique, a man had approached Gia, raving about her beauty, to which she replied He returned with one, which Gia proceeded to smoke in front of everyone.
But she just always really loved women."Gia talked a lot about having her heart broken by Sandy Linter, a bisexual make-up artist. A friend of Gia says:"That was a very significant relationship to her."Polly Mellen, a fashion fixture talked about the problems with Gia being both lesbian *and* sexually pretty straight-forward:"She was sexually very aggressive.
You couldn't room her with another female model.
In a 20/20 interview She said her Rise was awfully fast.
"I started working with well known people in the industry, very quickly.