Naomi Campbell Tells Court She Didn't Know Dictator Gave Her Diamonds

Model testifies in Liberian leader's war crimes trial

By Greg Wilson
|  Thursday, Aug 5, 2010  |  Updated 7:52 AM EDT
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Celebrities Who Dare To Bare It All

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Naomi Campbell will be forced to appear on the witness stand in the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. In a ruling published Thursday, July 1, 2010, judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone ordered a subpoena served on Campbell and if necessary to enlist the help of law enforcement agencies wherever she is found to make sure she gets to court.

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Supermodel Naomi Campbell told a war crimes court she got a gift of "dirty stones" after having dinner with former Liberian strongman Charles Taylor, but didn't know they were from the ruler or that they were actually "blood" diamonds.

Campbell's testimony came amid high security at Taylor's trial in The Hague, according to The Associated Press. Taylor is accused of getting the  gems from rebels in Sierra Leone and using them to buy weapons. Although Taylor calls the charges he acquired the diamonds "nonsense," actress Mia Farrow, who will testify next week, said earlier she knew he gave Campbell an uncut diamond after a 1997 dinner party hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

Campbell said she went to her room after the dinner and was awakened later by two men at her door bearing a pouch that they said was a gift..

"I saw a few stones in there," Campbell said. "And they were small, dirty-looking stones."

She said she had recounted the incident at breakfast to actress Mia Farrow and modeling agent Carole White.

"One of the two said 'That's obviously Charles Taylor', and I said I guess it was," the model told the court.

Campbell said she said she gave the diamonds to the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, though the charity has no record of receiving them.

Prosecutors say Taylor commanded Sierra Leone rebels who murdered and mutilated thousands of civilians across the border from Liberia. Taylor is charged with 11 war crimes, including murder, rape, sexual enslavement and recruiting child soldiers.

Campbell testified reluctantly.

"This is someone that I read up on the Internet that killed thousands of people supposedly and I don't want my family in any danger in any way," Campbell said.

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