Supermodel Erika: ”I used to be called William”

Skarsgård convinced ’Amazon Eve’ that Sweden's the right place to tell all about her transition

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NÖJE

Supermodel Erika ’Amazon Eve’ Ervin, 35, has decided to tell all about her transition - and actor Bill Skarsgård, 23, convinced her Sweden was the right place to do it.

”Erika wasn't always Erika. My former name was William. I transitioned from male to female back in 2004” the model reveals to Swedish talk show host Renée Nyberg.

At 6ft 8in, Erika is the tallest professional model in the world.

At now aged 35, she's chosen Sweden as the country to tell all about her transition. It's all thanks to actor Bill Skarsgård, a member of the acting dynasty that includes Bill's older brother True Blood star Alexander and father Stellan, well known for films such as Good Will Hunting and Mamma Mia!.

”Transitioned from male to female in 2004”

In a world exclusive interview on Swedish TV show Renées Rubriker on TV3 (’Renée's Headlines’) supermodel Erika reveals to host Renée Nyberg for the first time that she is a transsexual woman.

”Erika wasn't always Erika,” reveals the model in the interview, which will be aired later today. ”My former name was William. I transitioned from male to female back in 2004.”

Erika has appeared in many high-profile campaigns all over the world, including magazine covers, A karl Lagerfeld shoot for Harper's Bazaar, plus runway shows in fashion capitals such as Milan. But it was actor Bill who convinced her that Sweden was the place to go public.

Convinced by Bill Skarsgård

”Some people think that I have been dishonest about it,” reflects the supermodel. ”I learned that you have to keep it a secret, because people out there don't accept it. Except for Sweden. Sweden and the Swedish people are very accepting. I got to meet Bill Skarsgård in Toronto and he explained to me ’If you could talk about it anywhere, start there to feel comfortable.”.

Erika admits she's nervous of the reaction.

”Yeah, I'm testing it,” she confesses. ”I'm seeing If you guys are… Is it gonna go viral? Are you gonna crucify me?”

Speaking to Aftonbladet afterwards, talk show host Renée confirms she had no idea that Erika was going to tell her story about the transition.

Anxious about people's reactions

”I didn't have a clue” said Renée. ”Of course, close friends have always known her secret, and obviously she got along well with Bill and he made her feel confident about Sweden being a good place to start telling her secret. It feels like a huge compliment. But there are plenty of people with prejudices here as well. Erika is very anxious about people's reactions. I do hope she that she will be received with love and understanding.”

Swedish actress Aleksa Lundberg, 32, who is also transsexual, has saluted Erika Ervins decision to come out - and to do so in in Sweden.

”I can imagine that, compared with other cultures, Sweden is considered more open in several aspects,” she says. ”But as a trans person living in Sweden and also being open with my background I feel that there's a lot of transphobia here. However thanks to trans people daring to tell their stories, it's coming out more into the open.” says Aleksa Lundberg.