Naomi Campbell, that British super model, was recently subpoenaed by the World Court in Hague currently in judicial process against former Liberian war lord/president. The ex super model had refused to testify, saying "I am afraid it would put me and my loved ones in danger because this is someone that I read up on the Internet that killed thousands of people supposedly and I don't want my family in any danger in any way".
Does anyone reading this blame the super model for wanting to protect her family? Or for that matter showing fear about a man called Charles Taylor? I think it's unfair for the prosecutor to have suggested that Ms Campbell was downplaying her friendship with the former war lord when she exhibited such fear. But of course the whole thing may be much more than that especially when one of the other two witnesses testified that Campbell was flirting with the dictator. Never thrust a supermodel?
During the proceeding, Ms Campbell who met the then Liberian president in1997at a charity dinner hosted by the then South African President Nelson Mandela told the court: "When I was sleeping, I had a knock at my door. And I opened my door, and two men were there and gave me a pouch and said, ÔÇśA gift for you'. I saw a few stones in there, and they were very small, dirty-looking stones".
But the two witnesses ÔÇô Ms Carole White, 60 and Actress Mia Farrow, 65 ÔÇô who were there thirteen years ago disputed Campbell's claim saying, the former model knew that she would receive a diamond gift from Mr. Taylor and that she was quite excited about it. While the actress said that it was Naomi Campbell herself who confined in her that Charles Taylor wanted to give her diamonds, White, Campbell's former agent, declared that she was actually present when the diamonds were being delivered to Campbell. Never thrust an agent? Or even an actress? What exactly happened on that day in the Rainbow City? Perhaps only heaven knows.
In my opinion, the defence did a thorough job during cross-examination, and actually called White a liar saying she has motive for lying against Campbell. It could be recalled that White and Campbell are in another court case for breach of contract in which White is in the position to get millions of dollars if she wins. Suffice to say that the accounts of the three women differ. Oh gosh, it was thirteen years ago! And whose account the judges going to believe? I am waiting ÔÇô anxiously.
Well, one may question the super model's decision to accept a gift from two strangers, and for that matter not knowing who her admirer was. But then that should be her personal decision which I suppose she is entitled to. In fact, I am much more interested in the fact that Naomi did not take that diamonds out of South Africa. But then who among the guests is most likely to send a diamond gift to the super model? HumÔÇŽ.
"I do not recognise them as diamonds which I am accustomed to seeing shiny in a box," Campbell says, adding that she had no idea that the stones were from Taylor, as the prosecution alleges. She maintains that she passed them along to a friend who worked for a children's charity connected to Mandela, asking that he use them to do something good.
Although the charity denied ever receiving them but the friend she passed them on to has confirmed it, and has since passed them on to the police. Thank God that Mr. Jeremy Ractliffe whom Campbell gave the diamonds is still alive otherwise the super model could have been labelled a liar. Well, many people had started doubting her evidence before Mr. Ractliffe gave the diamonds to the police.
Oh, if Campbell, who became one of the world's highest-paid models after being discovered while shopping in London at age 15 had kept the diamonds! Her enemies especially the media would have chopped her alive.
Headlines like these would have been used to bombard and insult our intelligence: Ex-Super Model Harlots for Blood Diamonds; Naomi Campbell Trades Beauty for Bloody Diamonds; War Lord Woos Super Model with Blood Diamonds; Super Diamonds for Super Model Sex; Naomi Campbell: Sex for Diamond etc.
I am happy for this woman for taking the path of honour by passing along the yeye diamonds to a charity organisation. By doing this, the self-styled super model has written her name in gold. She has shown that beauty and brain can go together. Campbell has demonstrated she has gut. And she has since issued a statement saying, "I have nothing to gain by not telling the truth".
Thanks to her friend Ractliffe who had since shed light on the matter. Ractliffe said that Campbell had given him the stones as they rode on South Africa's famed Blue Train on Sept. 26, 1997. He said he had just kept the diamonds until recently, apparently not knowing what to do with them.
"I took them because I thought it might well be illegal for her to take uncut diamonds out of the country," he said. Ractliffe added that Campbell had suggested the stones could benefit the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, of which he was director at the time, "but I told her I would not involve the NMCF in anything that could possibly be illegal.
"In the end I decided I should just keep them and did not report the matter to the fund or anyone else "to protect the reputation of the NMCF, Mr. Mandela himself and Naomi Campbell, none of whom were benefiting in any way".
I am happy for this young woman whose beauty even at 40 still radiates controversy ÔÇô of sorts. They have called her a hot-tempered super model; they have accused her of violent outbursts; they have labeled her arrogant woman; and they have accused her of being a snob. I mean I need to borrow Olitan Ladipo super model question: "Who is on trial ÔÇô Naomi or Taylor?
Only God knows what they would have called her had it been that she took the so called blood diamonds out of South Africa. It would have been the opportunity to kill her personality further, and all she had worked for. Again, I am happy for this woman whom the media and co were ready to destroy but saved by divine spirit of the moment.
Lastly, whilst I do like the fact that war lord Charles Taylor of Liberia is now being prosecuted at the world court for crimes against humanity, when is George Bush of America and his ilk in the so-called God Country will be prosecuted for crimes against humanity as a result of what happened in Iraq? Or you want to tell me you do not know about Mr. Bush's crime?