Model defends blackface costumes as ‘praise’ of Venus and Serena Williams
An Australian model has shared photos of herself and two friends wearing blackface at a party, posting a "disclaimer" saying "we were praising our fav sports stars".
Sophie Applegarth and two other women dressed up as Serena and Venus Williams and Kobe Bryant.
Applegarth had a strong Instagram following but on Friday afternoon, her account could not be accessed.
Several conversations on Facebook and Twitter have sharply criticised the posts as racist and demanded the women apologise.
Ms Applegarth, who is believed to be represented by Chic Management, addressed the photos on Instagram.
"Disclaimer — I had no 'racist' or malicious intent by the photos I just uploaded," a post read.
"We were praising our fav sports stars Serena and Venus Williams. Did not mean to offend."
In a private message thread that the ABC has seen, one of the women pictured said she considered criticisms of the images "unreasonable harassment".
"[I'm] submitting them to my lawyer now," she said.
Several attempts have been made to contact Ms Applegarth and the other women pictured.
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