Mia Farrow versus Naomi Campbell
So who would you believe: The actress or the supermodel?
Sunday 04 July 2010
Pity the judge. To get one diva in court is an ordeal, to get two would test the patience of even the saintly Judge Judy. But such is the opera scheduled for The Hague later this month, when Mia Farrow and Naomi Campbell give evidence in the trial of the former Liberian president Charles Taylor.
The ex-warlord is accused of rape, murder and conscripting child soldiers, and the trial has rumbled on since 2007. But last week it spun into the celebosphere when the court ruled Campbell must appear as a witness over allegations Taylor once gave her a blood diamond. She says he didn't, but Farrow, who witnessed their meeting in 1997, says he did.
Mia Farrow, 65
Occupation Actress, singer, model and self-appointed saviour of African people. Still making films, but has dedicated much of her life to the poor.
Case for the prosecution Farrow recalls the events of that fateful meeting in South Africa. "Naomi said during the night some men had knocked on her door and she, half-asleep, had opened the door, and it was representatives of President Charles Taylor and that they had given her a huge diamond."
Reliability Farrow has form for headline-grabbing accusations. During her break-up from Woody Allen in 1993, she claimed he had molested their daughter Dylan. He always vigorously denied this and she subsequently withdrew the charge. Her credibility took a hit in 2007 when she offered to sacrifice her Hollywood lifestyle to swap places with a rebel leader held prisoner in Sudan.
Character reference Has a discerning taste for talented men, having been married to Frank Sinatra and André Previn and enjoyed a long liaison with Allen. Less picky when it comes to children, adopting a more-the-merrier policy to adoption. She has taken on 15, of which one, a Korean, caught Allen's eye. Relations between mother and daughter deteriorated when Soon-Yi announced she was marrying Woody whether mum liked it or not.
Naomi Campbell, 40
Occupation One of the original supermodels of the 1990s, latterly better known for bashing people in airports.
Case for the defence "I didn't receive a diamond and I'm not going to speak about that," Naomi told a news channel earlier this year, apparently punching the camera as she stormed out.
Not surprisingly, she is reluctant to get involved in Charles Taylor's case, and doesn't want anything to do with him. "He has done some terrible things," she insightfully told Oprah, "and I don't want to put my family in danger."
Reliability Her concept of being on time once kept photographer David Bailey waiting for three days. John Casablancas, head of Elite Modelling agency, said after dismissing her: "You cannot imagine the pleasure it gave me to sack Naomi Campbell." Despite spending much of her life in therapy, Campbell is prone to violent outbursts that have brought her an intimate knowledge of several courtrooms.
Character reference A history of violence has seen her convicted of assault charges on both sides of the Atlantic. Mainly goes for her staff, or anyone unlucky enough to get in her way. She battered her personal assistant with a telephone and threatened to throw her out of a car. A missing bag led to mayhem in 2008, when she abused cabin crew and assaulted police officers at Heathrow airport – a tantrum that cost her 200 hours in community service. The Streatham-born model has, nonetheless, never been short of admirers, numbering Mike Tyson, Flavio Briatore, Eddie Murphy, Eric Clapton, Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone among them – none of them short of a bob or two. So did an African warlord give her a blood diamond? You decide.
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