It sounds like the plot line for an action film.
A warlord, then actually the head of an African state, is at a party at Nelson Mandela’s house. He meets a supermodel and is so taken by her that he sends one of his guys to her room, where the sleepy supermodel opens the door and is given a blood diamond, a diamond that’s been mined in a war zone for the sole purpose of financing brutal activities.
Years later, the warlord is charged with crimes against humanity, including the rape of women and girls and having people shot and then hacked to pieces, and with using blood diamonds to pay for the killings. A friend of the supermodel’s, a famous actress, tells the international court that the supermodel told her she’d received a blood diamond. The supermodel fears for her life.
It would be a good plot line for a movie if it weren’t for the fact that it might be reality.
For the last three years, the former Liberian President Charles Taylor has been on trial in a UN-backed court for arming and leading rebels in Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war between 1996 and 2002. Now, the actress Mia Farrow claims that supermodel Naomi Campbell told her she received a blood diamond from Taylor in 1997. The warlord has denied ever having such diamonds so Campbell’s testimony could show that he’s lying and help further the case against him.
There’s just one problem: Campbell doesn’t want to testify. She told Oprah: “I don’t want to be involved in this man’s case—he has done some terrible things and I don’t want to put my family in danger,” she said.
Last week, the Special Court for Sierra Leone ordered Campbell to appear to testify on July 29 or face a prison term of up to seven years, a fine of about $500, or both, according to the subpoena. Campbell’s spokespeople aren’t commenting on what the supermodel will do next. The tribunal doesn’t have its own police so it would ask go to where Campbell lives—the UK— and ask the British police to do the work for them.
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)