Naomi Needs a Map… and Better Story

This morning at The Hague in the Netherlands, supermodel and habitual line-stepper Naomi Campbell was ordered to testify in the trial of Charles Taylor, former leader of Liberia, for her acceptance of “blood” diamonds given to her by the warlord, who is now on trial for his war crimes. Here are some of her best lines, according to The Guardian:

• Campbell admitted talking to the Liberian leader Charles Taylor at a charity dinner with Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1997. She denied flirting with Taylor and said she had not heard of Liberia at the time.
• Campbell described how she was given diamonds in the middle of the night by two men at the door of her room. She said she was told at breakfast the next morning, by either her agent Carole White or the actor Mia Farrow, that the diamonds had come from Charles Taylor.
• She said she handed the diamonds to her friend Jeremy Ratcliffe from Mandela’s children’s charity. She asked him to “do something good with them”.
• Ratcliffe still has the diamonds, she told the court. The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund “categorically” denied it had received the diamonds.
• Campbell said she was reluctant to appear before the court because of the “inconvenience” and safety concerns. “I don’t want my family in danger in any way,” she said. She described how she had read that Taylor had supposedly “killed thousands of people.”

For a global jetsetter and self-proclaimed god-daughter of Nelson Mandela to have never heard of Liberia is laughable at best. Especially because somewhere, fellow dinner guests from that evening, actress Mia Farrow and Campbell’s former agent, Carole White are giving a serious “oh no she didn’t” face right now. Says The Guardian:

According to Farrow, who was one of several high-profile guests at Mandela’s now infamous Cape Town dinner party, Campbell had said over breakfast the next morning that she had “an unforgettable story” to tell. “She told us… she had been awakened in the night by knocking at her door. She opened the door to find two or three men–I do not recall how many–who presented her with a large diamond which they said was from Charles Taylor,” Farrow said.

This version of events is largely supported by evidence given by White, who says she heard the African leader say he wanted to give Campbell some diamonds. Both women are due to testify in the special court for Sierra Leone next week.

While there is a definite difference between telling a lie and simply not telling the truth, when it comes to the UN and the hundreds of thousands of people slain at the command of Taylor, it would be best just to keep it straight Naomi: you took the raw diamonds from Taylor, you flirted because basically it’s what you are good at and you knew it was wrong, but were naive and would like to make it right. I doubt the supermodel will get real jail time, after all, she could probably make another fashion spread out of the entire ordeal.

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