America's Next Top Model: Esther Petrack's mother hits back

By Jennifer Lipman, October 19, 2010
Esther Petrack

Esther Petrack

The mother of an Orthodox Jewish reality show contestant has blamed bad editing for the “scandalous” suggestion that her daughter would give up Shabbat for the sake of her modelling career.

Esther Petrack, 18, is one of the candidates for the latest season of America's Next Top Model.

From a religious family in Boston, she was born in Jerusalem and attended a Jewish school.

But when asked about her religious identity by host Tyra Banks, Esther said first that she would honour Shabbat, and then that she would be willing to break the laws for modelling assignments.

However, her mother Marina has responded to a blog post on the subject and said she wanted to clarify what was said.

“The fateful words ‘I will do it’ in an answer to the question about working on Shabbat were the result of editing.

“Esther never meant or said that she would give up Shabbat for the show, neither did she do it.

"These words were taken from a long conversation about the principles and laws and how Esther was planning to observe them.

“The producers cut out these four words to create a more scandalous storyline; judging from the amount of reaction, they were quite successful.”

Mrs Petrack added that she hoped viewers would have given her daughter the benefit of the doubt about her religious observance.

She even revealed that Esther is so committed to Judaism that she koshered a cooking pot in the Pacific Ocean near the America’s Next Top Model house.

Last updated: 2:34pm, November 2 2010