`I don't accept that Gianni's gone'

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Johannesburg (AP) - The supermodel Naomi Campbell, a favourite model of the murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace, wept yesterday when asked about Versace's killing last week in the United States.

Campbell, who is on a four-day fashion shoot for a South African clothing chain store, had avoided direct questions from journalists since arriving in the country on Saturday.

At a news conference yesterday, Campbell spoke briefly before breaking into tears. "I'm leaving tonight to go to the funeral tomorrow," she said. "I don't really accept that he's gone. Maybe tomorrow I will."

She refused to comment on allegations that she took a drug overdose, saying she "would never want to kill myself".

"I enjoy my life very much, especially now that I have met someone like Nelson Mandela," she said of her meeting yesterday morning with the South African president.

Last month, Campbell spent 18 hours in a Spanish hospital, reportedly because of an overdose of anti-anxiety pills. Representatives for the London- born model denied the overdose reports, saying she suffered an allergic reaction to antibiotics.