Perri Pearl and Her Incredible Story…

Note to reader: Visit the Perri Pearl Blog –

I left the Hasidic community to become a nude model

Three years ago, she started having flashbacks.

Pearl Perri (who was born Penina Reich), now 34, had already survived her arranged marriage, fought a bitter custody battle for her four children, and left her strict Hasidic community in New Jersey.

It wasn’t until recently that the activist, mother and entrepreneur had memories of being sexually abused when she was just a kindergartner at the strictest Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

It’s this reclamation of her body that led Pearl to become a nude model and outspoken critic of her strict religious upbringing.

“My body is something for me to love and enjoy, not a tool to please others,” Pearl, who moved to America with her family when she was 10 years old, told The Post.

That’s why Pearl and her second husband, Shauli Grossman, 28, who is also a former member of the community that the pair describes as cultlike, celebrated Body Painting Day in New York City in July, marching nude through the city: They wanted to show the world that every human body is a work of art.

Pearl began the day with a body-painting party where 30 models, including herself, were painted, and a nude march through the Lower East Side. The crew then drove to Brooklyn and paraded in Williamsburg and Dumbo.

Pearl Perri, 34, and her second husband, Shauli Grossman, 28Photo: Rich Jones
Watching Pearl march nude in the street, it would be hard to guess at her ultra-conservative, super-religious roots.

“They used to tell me to cover my knees, to cover my neck,” said Pearl, who on the day of her event was completely bare except for a pair of boots, purple and pink swirls of paint, and sparkles where her underwear would be.

Pearl’s current husband supports and encourages her exhibitionism.

But at 18, she was paired off in an arranged marriage to another man who she claims treated her like her body was his property.

“I was taught that I had no choices in life and so I decided to make the most of it,” Pearl said.

When her family moved from Jerusalem to the U.S., Pearl said her schools were still rigid and conservative.

“I was basically prepped for marriage and babymaking,” she said. “I was very studious and went after a degree in education. I think I studied so much because I was searching for something, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was.”

Modal Trigger
Pearl Perri when she was younger
Photo: Handout

By the age of 24, Pearl was already a mother of four. She mustered up the courage to ask her first husband for a divorce (called a “get” in Jewish religious practice), but he refused.

If a woman in the community is denied a get from her husband, she cannot, by religious law, move beyond the marriage.

“If she has romantic relations with another man, she is labeled a slut,” Pearl said.

Despite not obtaining a get until age 30, Pearl moved out of her first husband’s home at 24.

She lived with her parents in New Jersey for half a year but lived on her own in Brooklyn and then New Jersey after her parents continued to pressure her to return to her former, unhappy union.

After moving out, Pearl, who was always interested in fashion, secretly sent photos to modeling agencies but never thought she’d get a response. Just weeks later, she began working for companies like Gap and Express and modeled their new lines in New Jersey malls.

One of Pearl’s first modeling photos shows her in a sleeveless black V-neck dress with her long blond hair down past her shoulders — a far cry from the long-sleeved shirts and skirts of her conservative upbringing.

At 29, Pearl met Shauli through Facebook. He had recently left his religious community in upstate New York.

“Shauli was married off to an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic woman who was forced to shave her head at the day of the wedding,” Pearl told The Post. His first marriage lasted two years.

Shauli and Pearl bonded over their shared experiences and started chatting about modern Jewish philosophy and science. Before long, they realized they were falling in love — not just with each other, but also with life’s infinite possibilities. The two married last year.

Pearl fully left the community and stopped living a double life when she was 30, at which point she was disowned by her parents.

“Leaving a cult is leaving a prison without the tools to live in the outside world. Many people commit suicide,” she said.

When she was 29 and living on her own, but not yet officially divorced, Pearl said she received a letter from the secular court saying that she would lose custody of her children, now ages 9, 12, 13 and 14. Many, including her own family, had informed the court that she was unfit to be a mother. An expensive, months-long legal battle followed, including a public campaign that included Pearl appearing on Dr. Phil’s TV show in 2012 to tell her side of the story. That same year, she regained custody of her children.

Pearl still practices a less restrictive form of Judaism in her home, and her kids stay with their father every second weekend. Though all four attend an Orthodox yeshiva as part of the custody ruling, Pearl said her children are free to make their own religious choices.

To read the article in its entirety in the New York Post click here.

30 thoughts on “Perri Pearl and Her Incredible Story…

  1. To : LostMessiah,

    There is nothing wrong reporting her story . As a matter of fact , her story is very interesting and she turned her life around the way it was offered to her . Not a choice , though .
    When she came to the modeling agency, she originally thought she will be a model .
    But when she was interviewed , they told her there is no position available as a reg model .
    The only position available is a nude model position and they informed her the annual salary on the spot .
    When she heard the hefty income, wow ! she accepted the position on the spot .

    That’s the way those store front ‘modeling agencies ‘ take you , because not every model wants to pose nude . In reality not too many girls want to pose nude , they want a reg model position and many will walk away if they are offered the nude model position . So, most modeling agencies use that strategy .

    In the case of Pearl Perri , she has no qualifications, no work experience , and she badly needed the
    money , so she grabbed the job . That’s the way it started . And of course , when she got into it , she got used to it . She does not see the ‘job’ the way we see her job .

    Next, it’s porn shoots and short porn movies . she might already be into it , but she cannot publicize the
    porn photo shoots and porn movies on facebook or on the Internet . They are special log in for that .

    To go from nude modeling to porn modeling is easy as 1, 2, 3 . Once she is in the job , she will automatically make the connections to go porn modeling . I won’t be surprised if her 2nd nutty husband is doing it . He has the demeanor for it and his comments on his facebook wall proves it .

    If they are your neighbors, you can never tell what they are doing for a living, especially if her 3 daughters
    live with them . Both of them look perfect nice couple .

    Taking control of her body does not mean she has to sell it, and showing it off to the public because
    she is liberated . There is more than that .

    Her first husband should go back to court and show her 3 facebooks AND HER 2ND HUSBAND FACEBOOK to a judge who will subpoena all her work records and see what she does to make a living .
    Her children will be taken away from her . Her first husband MUST DO IT . Anyone who knows him must contact him and support him into going to court AND GO WITH HIM , Many ppl to go to court with the first husband , the better .

    If those 3 girls will grow up with their mother and her nutty husband it’s gonna be an irreversible catastrophy . The girls will turn like them ,’normal’, if you know what I mean . I FEEL VERY SORRY FOR THE CHILDREN and I am very worried, although I don’t know them .

    You can see on the parents’ facebook , they got the daughters into theatre acting . OMG !
    It’s seems harmless , but it’s not at all . The environment of the theater is a very promiscuous one .
    Those girls will turn like their mother with no fail .
    ( that theater is not a Yeshiva for girls theater , bc those girls wear pants , no pants are allowed in Yeshiva theater .)

    Pearl Perri first husband should not be turned down bc a decision was made .
    Any Judge can reverse the original decision if he is presented with the facts . He will consider them VERY CAREFULLY .
    Any person who knows Pearl Perri’s first husband should go and advice him to go back to court .

    • @m – we rarely disagree with each other, you and LM. On this one, we do not agree. We do not know the details of how she got started or what avenues she took to succeed. But, if what you say is true, how different is it from women who use their bodies to get ahead in the business world or in the corporate world or as executives. While we do not condone this behavior, nor do we necessarily approve, we cannot judge either. The point we were making was the choice, that simple. It was a decision to say yes versus saying no. Were her husband (1st) to get hold of the pictures, it is likely her children would be subjected to the same life she had. We don’t wish that on anyone. We fully understand that you don’t believe in raising children in that atmosphere and we can’t condemn you for that. We do not think that there is any (or almost any) reason, however, to return children to the same environment she escaped. But this is all opinion and conjecture as we do not know her entire story, only what was published and what is available on her website. We admire her courage on that information alone. We admire her escape and her control, on that information alone. – Thanks, as always, for your comments.

  2. You are going beyond your usual reporting in this story. I find Perri pearl’s work disgusting and tasteless, and there is nothing in it relevant to your usual angle.

    • @Ari Ben Menashe, you may not like our reporting or our perspective. We admire Pearl because she took control of something stolen from her, her body. There is nothing more liberating, in our view, than feeling free to dress and undress as you wish. We are not necessarily endorsing her work; we are endorsing her courage, her freedom and her willingness to tell her story.

  3. To WSC,

    you can be an escapee and you can enjoy your freedom , but you don’t need to show your ass
    and boobs in pornographic positions TO THE PUBLIC because you enjoy your freedom.

    You don’t express your freedom by showing off your ass to the public .

    In her case, it’s more than that . She is showing off her body she lost when she was abused , bc it’s not her body anymore . She sells it , not in a positive way . And her nutty husband approves , bc he is as affected as she is .

    Don’t ask a prostitute to be a stay at home Mom.
    A prostitute is a worker , so is Pearl Perri , a worker whose job is to sell her nude body ,and that’s not a model. A model wears clothings for advertisement .

    WSC, show us your ass . I want to see how much class you have .

    • She was robbed of the ability to appreciate the body she had. It was stolen from her, as was her childhood. She is simply proving, in our view, that she has control over it once again. Anyone who calls her a prostitute is simply narrow-minded. We don’t necessarily love the work she calls art; but we love her ability to control her destiny, her body and what she does with both.

  4. You don’t spite the fruma by showing off your nude body in revealing positions .
    This Pearl Perri has no self respect .
    Did you see Taylor Swift , Kate Perry ,Rihana ,Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Lawrence showing their nude body ? Those singers, actresses, entertainers have class , not Pearl Perri.
    If Pearl Perri wants to make a living posing nude , she should not post those pictures on an open facebook profile for everyone to see , that’s sick , AND SHE SHOULD NOT POST ANY PICTURES AND VIDEOS OF HER KIDS on the same wall .
    Perri said it in one of her profile that she was sexually abused when she was a child.
    So she shows off her body bc she does not care anymore . She lost her body , anyway .
    A normal person does not show her body that way and that’s not class .

    …’Eat your heart out, frumma ‘…. no frumma eat their heart out seeing this prostitute showing off her body to the public ,in revealing positions , AND THAT’s NO ART . bc no decent, self respect person show their nude body to the public except prostitutes .
    The body is private .

    To WSC,
    ….’ I have no idea what class is ? ‘… You are a very sick in the head man, WSC .
    Class is not ass , so that you know .

  5. Frumma cannot tolerate it when someone escapes the Jewland prison, makes it past the barking guard dogs and over the barbed wire. And so we see here with the comments. They just can’t stand it when it seems like an escapee is enjoying her new-found freedom.

    Eat your hearts out, frumma.

    • You are such a bitter pathetic soul. I’m no “frumma”. Just a modern orthodox woman with some class. I know plenty of Jewish men/women who are not religious at all. They just don’t go posting nude pictures of themselves all over the Internet and in newspapers. And NEVER ever if they have kids. It’s called class. Sorry…class has nothing to do with religion. Stop trying to justify her classless behavior!

      • Proclaiming how much class you have, and wagging your finger at Pearl, tells me that you really have no idea what class is. But don’t let that stop you from thinking how much better you are than Pearl.

        What she does is entirely her business, not yours. There is an artistic creative side of her that you will never understand; your “modern orthodoxy” prevents you from doing so. Eat your heart out.

        • To Sarah:
          If you are indeed MO then you should know very well that one of the important distinctions of Modern Orthodoxy is allowing individuals access to the secular world/knowledge while teaching them to navigate that world with appropriate judgment. She comes from a world where everything is black and white – allowed or assur.- there are no gray areas. only absolute wrong or right depending on what the Rebbe or the leadership decrees (decrees that are at times known to ignore normative actual halacha).

          As im sure you know, pictures of ALL women – even just faces or very modestly dressed- are forbidden in any publication because they represent a gray area…requiring a judgment call.which in that world automatically deems it assur. In that culture there is no practical difference between a kindergarten girl who does not wear socks or a woman who shows her elbow or some hair (married) and a ‘prostitute’ who walks around half nude. All are demeaned and harassed and sometimes even threatened or physically abused – with the blessings of the leadership.

          Using your background and education and cultural milieu to judge her is inappropriate and unfair. You have no right to expect that she shows ‘class’ when her entire upbringing taught her that there is no such concept – unless if fits squarely into a Chassidc notion of tznius. Would you be considered ‘classy’ by their standards? Unlikely. Inevitably your wig would be too long or too modern or too blonde.and in any case doesnt have a small hat or large headband covering it at all times. It goes without saying that you are not ‘Chassidish classy’ if you show any hair and that you are basically a prostitute if you don’t cover it at all outside Shul.

          How could she possibly have the tools to know where Chassidic ‘tznius demands’ end and ‘class’ begins? Does your Modern orthodox Shul do ‘outreach’ for people leaving Chassidus to teach them the ‘class’ standards of a secular society? In her case, she found a welcoming home among a community for whom this is acceptable.

          If anything, you should be seeing this distasteful behavior (according to your own Modern Orthodox or even typical American secular mores) as an indictment of the Chassidish indoctrination process and how badly it can go really wrong, rather than for condemning her as an individual. Add to that a trauma like sexual (or emotional or physical abuse) and THIS is what you get.

  6. P.S I meant ….’ for her husband to get full custody of her daughters ,and her to get only supervised
    visitations ‘ .
    I believe David Koster 100% . This “Pearl Perri’ is on drugs , for sure . And I am also sure she let men into her bedroom , and showed up at 4 am when she was still married . I believe David Koster 100 % .
    Next, porn photo shoots and porn movies, all approved by her nutty second husband .
    What a couple !

  7. I feel sorry for her kids , very very sorry .

    Her former husband should take her 3 facebooks , PLUS the facebook of her second husband Shauli Grossman to a judge , ‘ David Koster ‘, and nore ppl who knew her to get full custody of her daughters and boy , and only supervised visits .

    Her money got her to see the kids . She won, because money wins .

    If her young daughters will grow up with her , even on visits, they are done, poor things .

    Both her nutty second husband and herself will turn her daughters , just the way they are .
    In the crazy world of Arts , and make everything seem normal.

  8. Jancsibacsi ,

    This Pearl Perri is not dumb at all . The opposite , she is very smart . Not easy to succeed in the modeling world . She remarried a former frum like her and has a steady marriage . Plus she coordinates very well family life and job . She sees her daughters regularly and they are very happy to see their mother .
    She makes a lot of money .

    I don’t like what she is doing . Being a model is one thing, but a nude model , that’s going too far .
    Those revealing positions , that’s too much, really .
    Not an easy job , those nude sessions are very long and very stressful . It takes a long time to paint the bodies , then the positions and the shots. She must be exhausted by the end of the day .

    I don’t know if she will get further in a few years when her body will change , like doing porn .

    Her second husband is a nut . She is better . How they found each other is unbelievable .
    A match made in heaven, the perfect shiddur .

    Time is running out , she has 10 more years for the job before getting older . She better work as much as she can . After a long career of nude modeling, she might do reg modeling or acting .

    Log into her 2nd husband facebook , Shauli Grossman, a nut , read his comments . ( I don’t like the way they publish the pics of her daughters on facebook .)
    and also log on her 3 facebooks , Pearle Reich, Pearl Perri, and Pearl Sushholz ) , incredible .

  9. Don’t know her, don’t know her story…makes no difference in my life. Assuming that all she’s saying is true, I truly sympathize with her. Her choice to live a religious life or not is her choice BUT…a woman should have some sort of modestly and class…which has nothing to do with religion. What one does in the privacy of their own home is 1 thing but to post nude or semi nude pictures on facebook and all over the Internet is just disgusting and with no class. And especially because she has children. It is selfish and no doubt will 1 day come back to haunt her children. I am not very religious but I would never allow my children to marry into a family who’s mother posts nude and crude pictures of herself on the Internet and newspapers.

    • When you’ve had “modesty” shoved down your throat for the first 30 years of your life, you are entitled to let your freak flag fly, and express yourself in whatever way your li’l heart desires.
      Good for her.
      Perri Pearl, go for it! Don’t let the toxic minds of Jewland hold you down.

  10. Perry Reich is the worst liar that I have ever met. I know her and her family very well. The fact is that her marriage was not an arranged one as she claims. She went out with two other young men before she met the one whom she married. Her father told me that he did not try to influence her at all on this matter. Her parents have not disowned her. Any time she comes to their home she is always welcomed by them. There are a few things which Perry forgot to mention. When she was still with her husband on several occasions she would come home 4am. Don’t think that she was at a lecture. She also forgot to mention that when after she left her husband one Friday morning she called Hatzolah to her apartment because of the side effects of taking LSD. Her children can tell you how many times she had men stay with her in her bedroom overnight. I don’t think that she was saying T’hillim with them. Why didn’t she mention the numerous times she had sex with men other that her husband while still being married? She likes to make herself out to be a victim when she is nothing more than a self-serving slut.

    • You are a good example of the kind of lowlife drek that drives people away from religion.

      The smear tactics against Pearl will continue as long as there is even one breath of life in one POS like you.

    • Does anyone in your community ever have anything positive to say about those that have been successful OTD?

      You are a fucking disgrace David.
      I presume you’re frum? Lashon Hara much much? Of curse her parents tell you how supportive they are? What are they supposed to say? That they’re cold-hearted bastards?

      On the topic of sex, please do the whole community a favour and don’t consider procreating – keep on with your right hand and the vaseline

  11. What’s incredible is the ramifications of her experiences in her life of a cult and what this can do to a person later or early in life.

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