"I have certainly been around them my whole life and dated them," he said. "Most that I know have had some experience with someone trying to rape them -- a client or a photographer."
Many of these teens -- at 6 feet tall in provocative outfits -- look like mature adults and grow up in a city without the oversight of parents.
"They are thrown into the lion's den, and their agents become their parents," said Ashman. "A couple of them have parents who stay with them, and they are the healthier ones."
The agents "try to make money off them," he said. "If they want to get booked for jobs they don't mind the girls flirting with a client. They turn a blind eye."
ABCNEWS.com made calls to major model agencies like Ford and Elite in New York City, who refused to comment for this story.
Jezebel's Tatiana told ABCNEWS.com that three girls share her one-bedroom apartment, paying $325 a week each. The agency refuses to pay for their $20 a month Internet access.
Though she never knew Korshunova, the model said she was familiar with the "depersonalization and loneliness of this profession and its outright miseries.
"People don't realize how lonely and isolating this job can be," she said. "No agency wants a successful girl, who's earning bank on lucrative cosmetics and perfume campaigns, out of commission for any period of time, so there's little incentive for them to help her face any problems or issues she might be having, healthwise."
Patrick McMullan, CEO of an agency that has photographed Korshunova and hob-nobbed with international models for more than two decades, said young girls in trouble have nowhere to turn.
"In New York it's easy and hard to be cool and in and to be young and hot," he told ABCNEWS.com "It's hard to be up with that and to be 20 and over the hill and need support."
"It's easy to get depressed in this business," said McMullan. "There are real highs and lows. If you have an issue it's more pronounced. You are burning the candle and see people talking about you. She was doing well, but sometimes that's not enough."
Those like McMullan, who followed her career, had watched the model lose weight and wondered if she had dabbled in the drugs that plague so many supermodels.
Friends said Korshunova had a stomachache before her death, a small complaint, but in this high-pressure world, "one little knot is the book on the shelf that makes it go down," he said.
An autopsy is still underway and police have only said that some prescription pill bottles were found in her apartment with Russian labels.
Modeling is hard work, according to McMullan -- getting up early and often staying late to work with photographers on "fun shots" for their portfolio that might boost their careers.
"You have to get up and have a good personality to be photographed and be political and know the editors to be on top of the game," he said.
"You have to be social and friendly with everybody or else they don't want to work with you," said McMullan. "You can't miss an appointment or you become known and they won't send you out."
"Models can be very emotional and they are treated like meat a lot -- like a commodity -- and that takes your soul away," he said. "People around you like you for what you look like and not who you are."