An ‘excited’ Naomi Campbell was given a ‘huge diamond’ from former Liberian leader Charles Taylor, actress Mia Farrow today told his war crimes trial in The Hague.
The actress said the supermodel had confided in her that after a charity dinner in 1997 hosted by Nelson Mandela, two men had come to her hotel room and given her the stone.
Ms Farrow, 65, flatly contradicted Ms Campbell's version that she was given two or three ‘dirty looking pebbles’ but did not know what they were or who they were from.
Taylor, 62, is on trial at a special court for Sierra Leone at The Hague for his alleged part in the 1991-2001 civil war in Sierra Leone that killed 120,000 people and widely used child soldiers.
The warlord is accused of backing Revolutionary United Front rebels, who were behind thousands of atrocities. It is claimed Taylor sold so called blood diamonds, to fund the Front's weapons. Prosecutors were hoping Ms Campbell, 40, could link Taylor to the illegally mined gems.
Testifying at the court this morning, the actress Mia Farrow said she was having breakfast with Ms Campbell and her ex-agent Carole White when she said she had been given a ‘huge diamond’ by men sent by Charles Taylor during the night.
"I remember... having breakfast and I remember that Naomi Campbell joined us at the table," Farrow told the court.
"She said that in the night she had been wakened by some men who were knocking at the door... they had been sent by Charles Taylor and they gave her a huge diamond.
"She said she intended to give the diamond to the Nelson Mandela Children's Charity."
Ms Farrow said she did not see the diamond.
The two women’s accounts of what happened differ over whether the supermodel was given one stone or more. The actress told the court she was confident Ms Campbell had spoken of one diamond rather than several stones.
But asked who had suggested they were from Charles Taylor, Ms Farrow said: "Miss Campbell. Miss Campbell entered the room. She was quite excited and said in effect, 'Oh my God, in the middle of the night I was awoken by knocking at the door and it was men sent by Charles Taylor and he sent me a huge diamond."'
Ms Campbell's former agent Carol White is due to testify next and is also expected to contradict the model's claims that she did not know who gave her the diamonds.