Naomi Campbell Tells Oprah She Fears For Her Family
Supermodel says talking about dictator's alleged 'blood diamond' is dangerous.
May 3, 2010 — -- Naomi Campbell told Oprah Winfrey today that she fears for the safety of her family and that is why she has refused to cooperate with prosecutors who are trying a former African dictator for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Prosecutors allege that Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia, gave Campbell a blood diamond, the kind of gem Taylor is accused of using to buy guns for rebel groups in neighboring Sierra Leone who terrorized civilians and killed and maimed tens of thousands.
"I don't want to be involved in this man's case—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 during an episode of the talk show that will air Monday.
Oprah was attempting to ask Campbell about a dinner in South Africa that was attended by Mia Farrow, Campbell, other celebrities and then-South African president Nelson Mandela. Charles Taylor was also present just before the dinner. According to Farrow, Campbell told her the morning after the dinner that Taylor had sent some of his men to her room in the night to present her with a large uncut diamond.
Campbell told Oprah that she was a guest of Mandela at his home at the time of the September 1997 dinner, and that Charles Taylor had shown up unexpectedly.
"He wasn't invited," said Campbell. "He wasn't part of our group, but he did show up. We understood that after it was explained to us."
At New York Fashion Week in February, Campbell denied receiving a diamond from Taylor when asked about it by ABC News.
"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.
Campbell claimed to Oprah that there was "a sound effect" added to the ABC News reports on the incident.
ABC News did not add any sound effects to the ABC News reports on the alleged blood diamond gift, which aired April 22 on both World News and Nightline.