- Title: USA: Supermodel Naomi Campbell has been charged with assault in New York City
- Date: 6th April 2006
- Summary: RIO DE JANIERO, BRAZIL (FILE) (REUTERS) CAMPBELL MODELLING ON THE RUNWAY
- Embargoed: 21st April 2006 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVAEJ3FT72GB4EA1XTC70DN5GMI
- Story Text: Supermodel Naomi Campbell was arrested at her Park Avenue home on Thursday (March 30, 2006) and charged with assaulting her housekeeper with a cell phone, New York City police said. Campbell, who was later released, could face up to seven years in prison after she was charged with second degree assault for throwing a cell phone at housekeeper Ana Scolavino. Police said it struck her on the back of the head and opened a cut that needed four staples. Campbell's lawyer, David Breitbart, said the maid's injury was self-inflicted. He added that Scolavino had been working for Campbell for two to three months and was being fired because several items were missing from the house.
"We're going to find out what more we can about who the accuser is, which is a very very important question, who the accuser is and why is she accusing Naomi Campbell, is it because she is an affluent star of enormous proportions, if she had been fired from another job, would she be bringing these outrageous cases? We've all seen this," said Breitbart. Campbell was ordered to return to court on June 27. Prosecutors asked the judge to order Campbell to surrender her passport but the request was denied after Breitbart said she was scheduled to fly to West Africa on Friday (March 31) to do some charity work with Nelson Mandela. Campbell, still one of the biggest names in fashion at the age of 35, was fingerprinted and photographed at a police station and arrived at Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of her arraignment wearing a black baseball hat, a white fur poncho and sunglasses. Her hands were cuffed behind her back. "The police have been really nice. They are treating me great," she told reporters. Campbell's agent, Amanda Silverman, said in a statement: "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." Prosecutors asked Judge Richard Weinberg to set bail at $3,500, a figure Breitbart scoffed at as "unsightly" for the high profile model, who was released without bail. "She is not a risk of flight," said Breitbart. "She is the most recognized model in the world." It was not the first time the British-born Campbell has had troubles with the law -- in February 2000 she pleaded guilty in a Canadian court to assaulting her former assistant, and was given an absolute discharge, meaning her record was cleared.
After that incident, in which she assaulted her assistant Georgina Galanis with a telephone, she blamed her fiery temper on lingering resentment towards her father for abandoning her as a child.
Campbell, who grew up in South London, said that her father abandoned the family before she was born and her mother was often gone because she worked long hours to send her daughter to prestigious schools to study singing, drama and ballet.
"I've not always displayed my anger in the appropriate time," she said in a 2000 TV interview in which she said she had attended a U.S. clinic to help manage her anger. "It's a manifestation of a deeper issue, I think. And that, to me, I think is based on insecurity, self-esteem and loneliness."
Campbell has also admitted to drug use in the past. In 2004 she won a British court battle with a tabloid newspaper that was found to have invaded her privacy by running a story saying, correctly, that she had visited Narcotics Anonymous.
Spotted on the streets of London's Covent Garden when she was 15, Campbell was the first black model to appear on covers of the French and British editions of Vogue magazine. Nearly 20 years later she remains one of the biggest names in fashion.
She has also acted in several movies, tried her hand at singing and launched her own cosmetics range. She also published a ghostwritten novel called "Swan," about a supermodel who is blackmailed.
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