Naomi Campbell: The case of the fashion idol and the swordfish

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Throughout her seven hours in the witness box last week Ms Campbell made sure she always had one fashion accessory – a string of worry beads.

By the time she stepped down from her cross-examination at the hands of Desmond Browne QC Ms Campbell, 31, had ripped up a document, burst into tears and repeatedly protested that she was "fragile". Whether her testimony also contained the eight untruths alleged by Mirror Group Newspapers – ranging from lying about a claimed drugs overdose to exaggerating the effects of being compared to a "chocolate soldier" – will be decided in due course.

But as celebrity court performances go, Ms Campbell's had all the bewilderment and exasperation of a global superstar subjected to rigorous interrogation. The result was a series of bizarre insights into the model's personal life, ranging from her period pains to an allergy to swordfish.

When asked about her collapse in the Canary Islands in June 1997, which The Mirror alleges was due to a barbiturate overdose, Ms Campbell claimed it was due to antibiotics prescribed by a doctor in Madrid. She said: "The doctor spoke Spanish and I did not. My assistant dealt with it. It didn't occur to me to tell her about my allergy to penicillin. I took the medication but it could have been anything. Iodine causes the same effect. There is iodine in fish, like salmon and swordfish, which I might have eaten."

During an increasingly fractious hearing, the model was forced to explain why she had featured her period pains in a television documentary, lied in public about her drug addiction and assaulted one of her assistants in a fit of what she admitted was her "notorious" tendency to throw tantrums.

Such was her helplessness at times that the judge twice had to get up from his seat and show Ms Campbell the correct page in the bundles of documents before her.

Before leaving for her next catwalk engagement in New York, Ms Campbell told the court she would eventually like to retire from the limelight and settle down. "One day, I would like to have a house and babies," she said. "It's something I hope God will give me, but it just hasn't happened yet."

Some will doubtless be hoping that that day comes soon.