Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Genocide, blood diamonds and the absurd hypocrisy of supermodel Naomi Campbell

The supermodel Naomi Campbell is due to make an appearance at a war crimes tribunal in The Hague today. However, you may not see her doing so. She has obtained an order preventing her being photographed as she enters and leaves the court building in the Dutch city.

What is Ms Campbell doing at a war crimes tribunal? She has been subpoenaed to appear at the trial of Charles Taylor, a former President of Liberia, and not at all a nice piece of work, who is charged on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity over his alleged involvement in the civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone - including murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers.

Ms Campbell is alleged to have accepted a 'blood diamond' from Mr Taylor - or from a couple of his heavies - after meeting him at a dinner given by Nelson Mandela, then President of South Africa, in 1997.

Can this be the same saintly Nelson Mandela revered by world leaders, championed by the media and adored by billions of people? Yes, it can.

What a tyrant and alleged genocidal maniac like Mr Taylor was doing at a bash hosted by Mr Mandela is only one of the fascinating questions thrown up by this case.

Another is whether nice girls should accept valuable diamonds from men they scarcely know who turn out to be monsters.

Most of us would say, on the whole absolutely not, while accepting that it may be difficult for some members of the female sex to refuse one of those bright sparkly things wherever they may come from.

Naomi Campbell, it should be stressed, vehemently denies having received any kind of diamond from Mr Taylor. Unfortunately, there are a couple of witnesses who disagree.

One is the American actress Mia Farrow who was present at the same Nelson Mandela party and has sworn an affidavit asserting that an uncut diamond did pass hands.

This is what she told ABC News: 'You don't forget when a girlfriend tells you she was given a huge diamond in the middle of the night.'

Quite so. That sort of thing does tend to stick in the mind.

Anyway, we will see what happens in court. Surely it is in the public interest to know whether or not one of the most famous models in the world pocketed a valuable jewel from an allegedly corrupt African dictator. Ms Campbell has, however, been doing her very best to make herself invisible.

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1 comment:

  1. The Truth About Blood Diamonds


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