Suddenly, the trial of ex-Liberian leader Charles Taylor for unspeakable crimes against humanity has been hijacked by our favorite bad-girl supermodel, Naomi Campbell. And though we hope that justice is served re: Taylor, we've seen the best, worst, and most surreal of La Campbell.
First, as reported here, she had to be summoned to the trial against her will. Then, as recorded and broadcast worldwide this week, she proved herself sullen, uncooperative, and either woefully ignorant or woefully obtuse. The bloody diamond-fueled civil war in Liberia? "Um, sorry, don't know what you're talking about." And the packet of uncut gems allegedly given to Campbell after a Nelson Mandela dinner in South Africa? "Sorry, no idea." These two men appeared at Campbell's hotel room in the middle of the night and handed over the "dirty stones." She asked no questions and went back to bed. No idea who they were from, or what they were. So unhelpful was Cambell's testimony that the prosecution, who had called her, declared her not a witness. And Campbell's claim that she had given the stones to Mandela's Children's Fund was met with blank incomprehension.
Suddenly it looked glum for what was left of her reputation: Throwing phones is fine, taking blood diamonds from a notorious dictator, less so. But today a former head of the charity came forward to say that yes, indeed, Campbell handed them over, though he had not immediately passed them on. Phew! We can keep loving Campbell.
Though we will update you on that when Mia Farrow and Campbell's former PR rep take the stand. The latter and Campbell have had terrible falling-out and there are scores to settle and secrets to be spilled.