Naomi Campbell's former modeling agent testified today that she believes the supermodel knew the alleged 'blood diamonds' she received from two men in the middle of the night were actually from dictator Charles Taylor, and that Campbell had been flirting with the warlord during dinner and was expecting the gift.
Carole White, Campbell's ex-agent, became the second witness to take the stand at an international war crimes trial Monday and dispute important elements of Campbell's testimony to the same body last Thursday. Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is on trial in the Hague for allegedly using uncut "blood diamonds' to fuel a bloody civil war, and prosecutors say Taylor's alleged gift of the gems to Campbell after a 1997 dinner at Nelson Mandela's house is proof the now-deposed dictator was buying guns in South Africa.
Earlier Monday, actress Mia Farrow disputed the supermodel's claim under oath that she did not know where the gift of "blood diamonds" had come from. White added detail to Farrow's story, saying that Campbell had been seated next to Taylor at the dinner, had flirted with him, was in communication with his representatives, and was expecting the gift of diamonds when it arrived.
"Naomi was very excited and said, 'Oh, he's going to give me some diamonds,' " claimed White. She said Taylor and Campbell were being "charming" to each other at the dinner. "Naomi I think was flirting with him and he was flirting back."
The penalty for lying to the Special Court for Sierra Leone, where Taylor is being tried for 11 different war crime counts, is a fine and up to two years in jail. A court spokesman had no comment when asked by ABC News whether any charges would be brought against Campbell should the court conclude that she had lied.
White also claimed 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, who is currently involved in a legal dispute with Campbell, 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!"