Supermodel Naomi Campbell has
denied flirting with accused warlord Charles Taylor over dinner before
receiving a gift pouch of “dirty-looking” diamonds.
The model – who told how she was
given the stones in the middle of the night – was accused of not being
“entirely truthful” at Taylor’s war crimes trial.
She was repeatedly told to stop
interrupting after answering questions before lawyers had finished asking them,
before telling the Hague war crimes court that being there was a “big
inconvenience” for her.
“I don’t want to be here. I
was made to be here… This is a big inconvenience to me,” she complained.
Campbell had earlier been
threatened with jail unless she appeared at the hearing to give evidence
The former Liberian president is
accused of criminal responsibility for atrocities in Sierra Leone including
mutilation, rape, sexual slavery and murder.
Prosecutors say Taylor gave
Campbell “blood diamonds” after a dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela in
South Africa in 1997.
Campbell said she had travelled to
South Africa in 1997 because she was interested in raising money for Mr
Mandela’s children’s charity.
The court was told how she had
shared a dinner with Mr Mandela, Taylor and other high-profile guests including
Imran and Jemima Khan.
Campbell confessed that at the time
of the dinner she did not even know that Liberia existed.
She said that she was sat next to
Mr Mandela at the event and denied she was sandwiched between Taylor and one of
Campbell said she retired to bed
early and that, in the middle of the night, she was woken by two black men at
her door who gave her a pouch before leaving without explanation.
“I saw a few stones in there.
And they were small dirty-looking stones,” the 40 year old model
At breakfast the following day,
either actress Mia Farrow or her former agent Carole White had told her the
rocks must be diamonds, Campbell said.
She was also told they were
probably a gift from Taylor.
Campbell said she passed the stones
onto the then director of Mandela’s children’s charity, but a spokesman says the
charity never received the stones.
Campbell’s evidence could prove
crucial, because it relates to whether Taylor owned rough or uncut diamonds,
which is something he has always denied.
Taylor was elected president of
Liberia in 1997 but was forced to step down six years later and went into exile