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Africa

Campbell’s ex-agent says warlord promised the model diamonds

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-09

Naomi Campbell's ex-agent Carole White (pictured) appeared before the Sierra Leone war crimes court Monday, and backed Mia Farrow's testimony that the model indeed received diamonds from the then Liberian president, Charles Taylor.

AFP - Naomi Campbell received a late-night gift of diamonds which Charles Taylor had promised her over dinner just hours before, the supermodel's former agent testified Monday at Taylor's war crimes trial.
  
Two men arrived at the guesthouse where Campbell was staying after a dinner where she witnessed Taylor promise her then client the gift of gems, model agent Carole White told the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague.
  
"They took out a quite scruffy paper and handed it to Ms Campbell and said: 'These are the diamonds'," White testified. "She showed it to me. She was quite disappointed because they were not shiny."
  
White and US actress Mia Farrow have been called to testify about the gift Campbell received after a charity dinner hosted by then South African president Nelson Mandela in September 1997.
  
Farrow testified earlier Monday, and both she and White contradicted Campbell's evidence to the court last Thursday that she did not know who sent her the gems.
  
White, the supermodel's agent at the time, said Campbell and Taylor, seated near each other, had flirted at the dinner.
  
At one point, "she told me he is going to give me some diamonds," White said. "She was very excited."
  
Taylor, meanwhile, "was agreeing there was something, a gift coming of diamonds. He was smiling and nodding in agreement," White said.
  
After dinner, Campbell discussed with Taylor and two other men how the delivery would be made, added the founder of Premier Model Management in London.
  
Prosecutors are trying to link the gift to Taylor, whom they accuse of having taken a consignment of rough diamonds to South Africa "to sell... or exchange them for weapons" for Sierra Leone rebels.
  
Farrow said earlier Monday that Campbell had named Taylor as the man who sent her a "huge diamond".
  
"She said that in the night she had been awakened. Some men were knocking at her door. They were sent by Charles Taylor and they had given her a huge diamond," Farrow said, recalling Campbell's story of the following morning.
  
Campbell had told judges that the men gave her a pouch containing two or three "dirty-looking stones", which South African police have since identified as rough diamonds.
  
She said she did not know who the gift came from, but  "assumed" it was from Taylor.
 

Date created : 2010-08-09

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  • INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE

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