After testifying Thursday that she had received a gift of alleged "blood diamonds" from men she believed to be representatives of an African dictator, Naomi Campbell flew to Italy to party with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who had starred in a film about illegal African gems called "Blood Diamond."
Campbell said on the stand that she believed the uncut "dirty" jewels had come from Charles Taylor, the Liberian warlord who is on trial for war crimes at The Hague. Campbell had previously denied to ABC News that she had gotten any gems from Taylor, and had slapped aside the camera of an ABC producer when stalking out of an interview.
The supermodel, who had referred to her appearance at the trial as "inconvenient," was next seen by paparazzi floating on a yacht off Sardinia with her billionaire Russian boyfriend, and partying with Leonardo DiCaprio and his model girlfriend Bar Refaeli. In 2006, DiCaprio starred in a film called "Blood Diamond" that explored how uncut gems are illegally trafficked in Africa, and are used to buy the weapons that have fueled the continent's many bloody conflicts. Charles Taylor is on trial for allegedly using the diamonds to buy guns for Sierra Leonean rebels, who waged a long civil war that cost thousands of lives.
Representatives of DiCaprio and Campbell did not return requests for comment.
While Campbell was vacationing in the Mediterranean, actress Mia Farrow and Campbell's former modeling agent Carole White were taking the stand to say that Campbell had lied on the stand. Farrow said that Campbell had always believed the gems she had received after a dinner at Nelson Mandela's house in 1997 had come from Taylor, and White claimed the model had flirted with Taylor, was fully aware he meant to give her a gift of diamonds, and was disappointed in the small, dirty gems she received.
Defense attorneys Tuesday hit back at White, saying that she was telling "a pack of lies."
Courtenay Griffiths, defense attorney for Taylor, accused White of lying because of an ongoing legal dispute with Campbell. "Your account is a complete pack of lies and you have made it up in order to assist in your lawsuit against Miss Campbell," charged Griffiths. "This for you is all about money."
On Monday, White told the court Campbell was seated next to Taylor at the dinner and was very excited about the expected gift, saying, "He's going to give me some diamonds." Tuesday she repeated the account, saying that Campbell had leaned back at the dinner table to tell her that Taylor was sending her diamonds. White said Taylor confirmed that the gift was coming by "nodding and laughing."
White became the second witness to take the stand Monday and dispute important elements of Campbell's testimony to the same body last Thursday.
Earlier Monday, Mia Farrow disputed the supermodel's claim under oath that she did not know where the gift of "blood diamonds" had come from.
On Tuesday, defense attorney Griffiths said he wondered how "chit chat between three women could come to feature so prominently in the trial of a former president on very serious charges of war crimes." He suggested White had "the most powerful motive for wanting to lie against Naomi Campbell, the motive being several million dollars of lawsuit."
White also claimed Monday that after the dinner, Campbell was in contact with representatives of Taylor, and that she knew they had gone from Pretoria to Johannesburg to collect some diamonds. White said that after the men came to Campbell's room, she and Campbell welcomed the men and gave them cokes. The men then gave Campbell "a scruffy piece of paper," according to White, that contained the diamonds.
Campbell was "quite disappointed because they weren't shining," said White.
White also said it was her idea, and not Campbell's, to give the diamonds to charity. Campbell testified Thursday that she had given the diamonds to Jeremy Ractliffe, the then-director of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, and Ractliffe later confirmed that he had received some uncut stones from Campbell. Ractliffe gave the diamonds to South African special police on Thursday.
Both White and Farrow were present at the dinner in September 1997 at which Campbell and Taylor met. Before White took the stand, Farrow testified that Campbell knew exactly who sent her diamonds after the dinner. Defense lawyers responded by playing an ABC News report on the alleged "blood diamond" gift that aired on Nightline, and tried to suggest that it showed Farrow was biased.
Farrow told the court what happened at breakfast the next morning: "[Campbell] was quite excited and she said last night I was awakened by someone knocking at the door. They were men sent from Charles Taylor and they gave me a huge diamond!"
Campbell testified Aug. 5th that at breakfast, Farrow told her the gift must have been from Taylor because no one else at the dinner could have given her uncut diamonds.
"Did you tell Naomi Campbell that the diamond or diamonds came from Charles Taylor?" Prosecutor Nick Koumjian asked Farrow on the stand Monday.
"Absolutely not. Naomi said they came from Charles Taylor," Farrow replied.
Farrow told ABC News that she saw Campbell the morning after the dinner. According to Farrow, Campbell was "all a-twitter" when she recounted how she was given "a huge diamond" by Taylor's men in the middle of the night.
In court Thursday, Campbell denied discussing the size of the diamonds after receiving them. She said she had breakfast with White and Mia Farrow the morning after receiving the pouch, and that one of the two women suggested to her then that the gift must have come from Taylor because no one else at the dinner would've given her such a gift.
Campbell Denies Receiving Diamonds
When ABC News asked Campbell about the incident at New York Fashion Week in February, she denied ever having received a blood diamond.
"I didn't receive a diamond and I'm not going to speak about that, thank you very much. And I'm not here for that," said Campbell.
She stormed out of the interview, slapping a producer's camera.
Less than two weeks after ABC News aired the report about the alleged blood diamond gift, Campbell appeared on Oprah saying that she "did not want to be involved in this man's case," but she did not confirm or deny receiving a diamond. "He has done some terrible things and I don't want to put my family in danger," Campbell told Oprah and her millions of viewers in early May.
Campbell's lawyer, Gideon Benaim, said that she is only a witness at Taylor's trial, and it is not alleged that she has done anything wrong.
"Naomi has not done anything wrong. She is a witness and not on trial herself," said Benaim.
Taylor has been on trial for almost three years at the U.N.'s Special Court for Sierra Leone, which is being held at the World Court in the Netherlands, and has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.
The warfare in Sierra Leone, where diamonds were used by African rebels and allegedly by Taylor to raise money for a bloody rampage from 1997 to 2001, killed or maimed tens of thousands. Taylor's lawyers have argued there is scant direct evidence that connects Taylor to the diamonds or the atrocities.
"The issue here is not whether such atrocities were indeed committed but who was responsible and specifically was Charles Taylor the person responsible," Courtenay Griffiths, Taylor's lead counsel, told ABC News.
Taylor has angrily denied dealing in blood diamonds. When pressed on the stand in November by Brenda Hollis about whether he sent his men to give a diamond to Campbell, Taylor called the allegation "total nonsense."