Naomi Campbell admits being given blood diamonds in court testimony
August 5, 2010
(ChattahBox) – British supermodel Naomi Campbell has given testimony at the trial of Liberia’s ex-President Charles Taylor, at The Hague for war crimes. Taylor is accused of using “blood diamonds” to fuel an insurgency in Sierra Leone that cost tens of thousands of lives. Campbell “was given rough diamonds” by Taylor in 1997 at Nelson Mandela’s house in South Africa. Campbell admitted yesterday during her testimony that she was given “dirty rocks” by the former Liberian ruler, but told the court she handed the gems to a colleague and told him to “do something good with them”. She said she had wanted them to be donated to charity but added: “He still has them so they didn’t benefit.” Campbell had previously declined to provide testimony to prosecutors.
The story goes that Campbell and Mia Farrow were in the guest house of Nelson Mandela in South Africa when Taylor’s men threw pebbles at a window and woke her up. Campbell’s former modeling agent, Carole White, who was also on the trip, has come forward to tell prosecutors she saw several men giving Campbell a “half-dozen” rough stones. White, according to her lawyer Daniel Bright, said Campbell was disappointed the gems were uncut. Mia Farrow’s story is similar as she told ABC News a few months ago she learned of the diamond gift the next morning at breakfast: “Naomi Campbell . . . said during the night some men had knocked on her door and she, half-asleep, had opened the door and it was representatives of President Charles Taylor and that they had given her a huge diamond. And we were like, ‘Oh, my gosh!’ ”
Campbell had previously denied the story and was issued with a subpoena and a warning that she faced a seven-year jail sentence after initially refusing to discuss it with the UN war crimes court.