Contains spoilers!
Gia Marie Carangi is a gorgeous Philadelphia native who arrives in New York City to become a model and immediately makes an impression on high-powered agent Wilhelmina Cooper. Gia's fierce good looks make her a star, as does her willingness to pose nude. Gia becomes entangled in a passionate affair with a photographer's assistant, Linda. But Linda is more concerned about her bisexuality, driving Gia away and fueling the model's craving for mood-altering drugs. Failed attempts at reconciliation with both Linda and her mother Kathleen, drive Gia further over the edge from cocaine to heroin, her emaciated body and sunken eyes become the catalyst for the "heroin chic" look. Although Gia is eventually able to kick her powerful habit, she learns that an infected needle has resulted in her contracting the HIV virus. In 1986, Gia Carangi died of complications resulting from the virus.

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