Naomi Campbell has been arrested in Manhattan and charged with second degree assault for allegedly striking her housekeeper.
The 35-year-old supermodel was escorted by police from her luxury apartment on Park Avenue yesterday morning and taken to a nearby police station to be fingerprinted and photographed for a mug-shot. The charges were filed against her in the afternoon at a court hearing.
The scene outside both the Midtown North Police Precinct and the court was verging on pandemonium as reporters and cameramen strained for glimpses of the British-born model.
Details of what occurred remained sketchy. However, an agent for the model said she had sacked a housekeeper yesterday and that a scuffle between the two may have ensued. Other sources suggested Ms Campbell had struck the victim in the head with a cell phone. Confirming the housekeeper had been sacked, Ms Campbell's agent, Amanda Silverman, suggested she might have started the fracas. "We believe this is a case of retaliation, because Naomi had fired her housekeeper earlier this morning. We are confident the courts will see it the same way," Ms Silverman said in a statement.
A police spokesperson said the victim had suffered wounds after being struck by a sharp-edged object and received four stitches in hospital. "She had a laceration to her head, so she was clearly hit with some sort of object," a police official said.
The police were tipped off to a potential problem at the Campbell household after receiving a formal request from Lennox Hill Hospital, where the alleged victim received stitches, to investigate. The housekeeper, who is 41, identified Ms Campbell to police as her assailant.
Tales of violent tendencies are not new. In 2000, she pleaded guilty in a Canadian court to assaulting her assistant, Georgina Galanis, with a telephone. She was given an absolute discharge. In 2003, Ms Campbell was sued by another former assistant who said she had hurled a phone at her two years earlier.
Ms Campbell was nonetheless ordered to attend anger management classes. She publicly acknowledged her capacity for aggressive behaviour but blamed it on lingering resentment towards her father who abandoned her as a child. She has also admitted to drug use in the past.
Two years ago, however, Ms Campbell celebrated a long-fought legal triumph when the law lords supported her claims that the Daily Mirror had unreasonably violated her privacy when it published photographs of her leaving a Narcotics Anonymous meeting.