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Naomi Campbell

 
Who2 Profiles:

Naomi Campbell, Model

  • Born: 22 May 1970
  • Birthplace: London, England
  • Best Known As: Top black supermodel of the 1990s

Naomi Campbell was "discovered" in a London shopping mall at age 15 and become one of the A-list models of the 1990s. After making her first cover appearance on the British edition of Elle, she went on to pose for Vogue, Sports Illustrated, GQ and many other magazines. (According to her official biography, "Naomi was the first black model to appear on the covers of Time magazine, and French and British Vogue.") Campbell is known as an aggressive and effective marketer of her own brand; among other ventures, she released her own perfume and cosmetics lines and co-wrote the 1997 novel Swan. Her reputation as a prima donna was enhanced over the years when a string of personal assistants accused her of abusive behavior, several of them saying she had struck them with telephones. She's also known for her romantic dalliances with celebrities including actor Robert DeNiro and Italian millionaire Flavio Briatore.

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fashion model; actor

Personal Information

Born on May 22, 1970, in London, England; daughter of Valerie Campbell (a ballet dancer).
Education: Attended London Academy of Performing Arts, c. 1985.

Career

Model, 1986-; appeared on London stage in The King and I; film appearances: Quest for Fire, 1982; The Wall, 1982; Cool as Ice, 1991; The Night We Never Met, 1993; Miami Rhapsody, 1995; Girl 6, 1996; Invasion of Privacy, 1996; Trippin', 1999; Prisoner of Love, 1999; Destinazione Verna, 2000; television guest appearances: The Cosby Show, 1988; The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, 1990; albums: Love and Tears, 1994; Babywoman, 1995; author (with ghostwriter), Swan, 1994; co-owner, The Fashion Café, beginning 1995.

Life's Work

With looks that some have described as exotic--her grandmother was a Chinese native of Jamaica--Naomi Campbell has become a familiar figure on the covers of leading American and European fashion publications. She has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Elle, and was the first black woman ever to appear on the cover of the French edition of Vogue. Not content with modeling alone, Campbell has broadened her career to include singing, acting, and a variety of business ventures.

Campbell was born on May 20, 1970, in Streatham, London, England. Her father, a Jamaican immigrant who was part Chinese, left the family before she was born. Her mother, Valerie Campbell, was born in Jamaica but grew up in London. A modern ballet dancer, Valerie spent much time traveling throughout Europe with her dance troupe, so a nanny was hired to help raise Naomi and her brother. Like her mother, Campbell was also interested in ballet. At age ten, Campbell was accepted to London's prestigious Italia Conti Stage School to study ballet. She also attended the London Academy of Performing Arts. During this time, Campbell landed bit parts in two films: Quest for Fire (1981) and Pink Floyd's The Wall (1982).

Discovered in Shopping Arcade

When she was 15, an agent discovered Campbell in a shopping arcade at Covent Gardens, which Campbell frequented after school. Campbell described the encounter to George Wayne in Interview: "I was just hanging out, and this woman comes up to me and says, 'I'm a modeling agent.' I didn't believe her, but I took her card home and gave it to my mother. And then I saw an interview of her in Tatler, so I knew she was legitimate. After that I started pleading with my mother to let me go see her. At the end of the school year, I did. She took a picture of me in my school uniform ... then she sent me to a photographer who was working on an assignment for British Elle in New Orleans, and he booked me." Superstar model Christy Turlington, a close friend of Campbell's, first met the teenage hopeful at Elite, the agency where Turlington was working. "She was wearing her school uniform," Turlington related to Elizabeth Sporkin in People. "The next time I saw her, a few months later, she was on her own in Paris, dancing until 4 a.m." Campbell and Turlington became fast friends, and ended up sharing an apartment. Signed to the Elite Modeling Agency, Campbell was soon working with some of the biggest names in the fashion industry, including Isaac Mizrahi, Calvin Klein, and Azzedine Alaia. She described in Interview some of her favorite fashion photographers: "I like working with Herb Ritts, and I do very much like working with [Francesco] Scavullo. He makes me feel like a woman. Herb makes you feel very innocent. Steven [Meisel] makes you feel like a character. When you work with him he'll give you postcards and books to look at and study. He makes me look different in every picture."

Earning more than $1 million a year, Campbell's assignments have taken her to many locations around the world. For one of her most exciting--and harrowing--photo shoots, she found herself, standing atop a volcano in Lanzarote, Spain--in heels. Her face was emblazoned on the French, Italian, American, and British editions of Vogue in the late 1980s. In 1988, she made a guest appearance on The Cosby Show.

One reason Campbell was so highly sought after is what many in the fashion industry have praised as her natural modeling ability. "She's one of the most delightful girls I've ever worked with, one of my favorite models," exalted renown fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo in Harper's Bazaar. "No one else has such an amazing body. She makes clothes come alive." Fashion coordinator Audrey Smaltz also commented in Harper's Bazaar on Campbell's magnetism on style show runways: "She's doesn't realize how wonderful she is ... She has terrific body language--most models don't--and can translate this into whatever she's wearing."

Expanded Career With Music and Acting

In the early 1990s, Campbell began to focus more on her other interests. In addition to appearing in Vanilla Ice's film Cool as Ice (1991), she also contributed vocals to a track on the soundtrack. She then recorded two albums of her own: 1994's Love and Tears and Babywoman (1995). Campbell also she recorded "La, La, La Love Song" with Japanese singer Toshi, and the song reached number one in Japan. In addition, she appeared in several music videos, including Michael Jackson's "In the Closet" video and George Michael's "Freedom."

In 1994 Campbell published a novel. The ghostwritten Swan presents the story of a successful supermodel who has decided to quit modeling. The novel was a critical disappointment. Jonathan Van Meter of Vogue called the book "a laughingstock."

She commented about her hopes to expand her acting career in Interview: "You can't learn it all. As they tell you, acting is reacting. So it's all about going through life, having experiences." She won a small role in The Night We Never Met (1993), and in 1994 played a model in Robert Altman's Pret-a-Porter (Ready to Wear). The following year, she had parts in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar and Miami Rhapsody, which starred Sarah Jessica Parker and Mia Farrow. She also showed talent in a cameo in Spike Lee's Girl 6 (1996). Campbell continued to make guest appearances on such television shows as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and New York Undercover, in addition to a cameo appearance on the British comedy series Absolutely Fabulous.

Campbell continued to model, earning fees of $10,000 a day. She was reportedly paid a six-figure sum to appear in Madonna's book Sex, which featured erotic photographs, and she selected all of the pictures for another photo book called simply Naomi, which consisted of favorite shots of herself taken by top photographers. Naomi's proceeds were donated to the Red Cross, for use in Somalia relief efforts.

A bonafide supermodel with several films behind her, Campbell had risen to megastardom. Tabloids and gossip columns could not print enough about her personal life. She has been linked to Mike Tyson, Robert DeNiro, who Campbell initially denied dating but later revealed that they had a four-year relationship, and flamenco dancer Joaquin Cortes. Campbell was also briefly engaged to Adam Clayton, a member of the band U2. The rumor mill has also suggested romantic connections with Sylvester Stallone, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, and Gabriel Byrne.

Opened Fashion Café

Campbell's next venture was the restaurant business. In 1995 she, along with fellow models Elle MacPherson, Claudia Schiffer, and Christy Turlington, and Italian restaurateur Tommaso Buti, launched the Fashion Café. The restaurant and coffee house first opened in New York City, and was situated in Rockefeller Center. Patrons entered the restaurant through a door shaped like a giant camera lens and serving staff carried cuisine down a catwalk. The decor included a collection of fashion memorabilia, from Madonna's famous Jean-Paul Gaultier bustier to one of Elizabeth Taylor's wedding gowns. Branches in London, Jakarta, Barcelona, Mexico City, New Orleans, and Manila soon followed.

By 1997, however, Turlington had pulled out of the company, and the next year, investors accused the Fashion Café of mismanagement. The New Orleans and Barcelona franchises were shut down, and Buti resigned after selling his stake in the firm. New management was called in to restore order, however, and the business continued at other locations. The New York branch, however, was later closed and the London restaurant was placed in receivership in 1998. Buti, accused of defrauding investors, was arrested in 2000 and charged with wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and transportation of stolen property.

Developed Reputation for Being Difficult

Throughout her career, Campbell has developed a reputation for being notoriously difficult to work with. Her temper reportedly possessed a short and fiery fuse. She has also been known to be perpetually late to assignments or appointments. In addition, she has earned a reputation for making selfish demands, such as insisting on being the first and last to appear on the runway at fashion shows. It was this difficulty which supposedly led to her temporary dismissal from Elite. Other reports, however, indicated that she resigned and was later hired back.

During a film shoot in September of 1998 for Prisoner of Love, according to Joe Warmington in the Toronto Sun, several crew members called Campbell "a 'nightmare' to work with," and one anonymous crewman called her "a spoiled child." In addition Georgiana Galanis, a Canadian assistant who had worked for Campbell for only nine days, claimed the model grabbed her by the throat, assaulted her with a telephone, and punched her in the shoulder twice. Campbell was arrested and charged with assault causing bodily harm.

Campbell did not attend the February of 2000 court hearing, but pleaded guilty in absentia to the lesser charge of assault. The court gave her an absolute discharge, which meant that she did not have to serve jail time and that she would not have criminal record in Canada. Galanis filed a civil suit, and an undisclosed settlement was reached out of court.

Aware of the problems caused by her incendiary temper, Campbell took steps to learn how to control her anger. In 1999 she spent four weeks the Cottonwood Center in Tuscon, Arizona. While at the clinic, Campbell shared a room with three other patients, and learned several anger management techniques. Part of what drove her to seek help was Campbell's fear that her anger was having a damaging effect on her relationship with Flavio Briatore, a businessman from Italy who Campbell began dating in 1999.

Campbell has given much of her time to charitable works. She has worked with the Dalai Lama rasing money to build kindergartens for poor communities. In February of 1998, she was involved with a fund raising event in Johannesburg, South Africa, for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. Campbell continued to work with the Children's Fund, developing a close friendship with Mandela.

Launched Signature Fragrance

The next step in Campbell's ever-diversifying career was the development of her own line of fragrances. Produced by Cosmopolitan Cosmetics, her first perfume, Naomi Campbell, hit stores in Japan, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia in the fall of 1999. U.S. stores welcomed the fragrance to their shelves in June of 2000. Campbell was involved in every aspect of the production process. "I didn't want to just put my name on something, like I did with the Fashion Café," she told WWD. "I wanted to be involved with my fragrance every step of the way, and that meant committing myself in every way--to the promotion, to the formulation of the scent, to everything." Not only did Campbell work with Givaudan Roure to create the perfume, but she also worked with Thierry de Baschmakoff to design the bottle and outer packaging.

Naomi Campbell was only the first in a whole line of fragrances. Campbell's second fragrance, Naomagic, was released in the fall of 2000. According to European Cosmetic Markets, this follow-up was "said to free the magical attraction of a woman." Campbell turned to her favorite flower, the lily of the valley, for inspiration in creating this scent. The design for the flacon containing the perfume was also inspired by two stones that she has always carried in her handbag: a rock crystal for energy and a stone talisman for good luck.

With the success of these fragrances, Campbell planned to expand her line to include cosmetics, candles, and perhaps even skin care products. "I'm not doing this because I'm forced to financially," she told WWD. "Instead, I'm doing it because it touches me. It makes a statement about my sense of smell to the world."

In February of 2000 Campbell was still in demand as a model. However, she decided to reduce the number of runway shows she appeared in. "I find it really stressful," she told the South China Morning Post. Besides, there was only so much time in a day for the model/actress/entrepreneur, and she had several goals yet to accomplish. "Oh God, there's a lot more," Campbell said in her book Naomi, as quoted in the African News Service. "I've got motherhood to achieve, marriage and family life. That for me would be a lot more than I've achieved in my career. That's something I would really love to do in my life."

Further Reading

Books

  • Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, Vol. 31, Gale 2000.
  • Newsmakers, Gale, 2000.
Periodicals
  • Africa News Service, March 11, 2001.
  • Cosmetics International, October 10, 2000, p. 11.
  • Entertainment Weekly, April 4, 1995, p. 6.
  • European Cosmetic Markets, October 2000, p. 420.
  • Harper's Bazaar, March 1990; June 1992, p. 90.
  • Independent, October 21, 1998, p. 7.
  • Interview, May 1990; February 1998, p. 56.
  • Jet, May 31, 1993, p. 5; November 16, 1998, p. 63; February 21, 2000, p. 53; March 6, 2000, p. 37.
  • Maclean's, March 24, 1997, p. 12; February 14, 2000, p. 9.
  • Mademoiselle, February 1989, p. 122.
  • Nation's Restaurant News, December 18, 2000, p. 4.
  • Newsweek, June 18, 2001, p. 62.
  • New York Times Magazine, November 24, 1996, p. 60.
  • People, June 11, 1990, p. 44; December 30, 1991, p. 82; November 23, 1998, p. 132.
  • People Weekly, January 20, 1997, p. 37; September 8, 1997, p. 45.
  • Restaurants & Institutions, February 1, 2001, p. 21.
  • South China Morning Post, December 13, 1999; February 3, 2000.
  • Toronto Sun, December 13, 1998, p. 4.
  • Vanity Fair, December 1990, p. 194.
  • Vogue, March 1999, p. 438.
  • WWD, June 16, 2000, p. 6.
Online
  • Amazon.com, http://www.amazon.com (July 16, 2001).
  • Fashion Café, http://www.fashion-cafe.com (January 5, 2000).
  • Internet Movie Database, http://us.imdb.com.
  • "Naomi Campbell Pleads Guilty, Seeks Rest," Mr. Showbiz, http://mrshowbiz.go.com (February 8, 2000).

— Michael E. Mueller and Jennifer M. York

AMG AllMovie Guide:

Naomi Campbell

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Biography

Naomi Campbell is a name synonymous with the supermodel phenomenon of the late '80s and 1990s. At the tender age of 15, Campbell was officially signed with a modeling agency, and would soon gain fame as the first black woman to appear on the covers of French and British Vogue, as well as Time magazines. She was blessed with the exotic visage of Jamaican-Chinese heritage. Her startlingly intense eyes and perfect model features earned her much success on the runway and in print, and she would go on to explore numerous realms of the entertainment world including film, television, and pop music throughout her career.

Campbell was born May 22, 1970, in Stratham, London, England. As a child, she gained a taste of acting, appearing in a film called Quest for Fire. Along with her early start in the modeling profession, she honed her limelight skills by attending the London Academy for Performing Arts. Her enduring career as a model and background in performance would lead her to the Hollywood scene, where she gained credits alongside numerous big names in film. Her film debut came in 1991, when she appeared as a singer in Cool As Ice. In 1995, Campbell played Kaia in Miami Rhapsody starring Antonio Banderas and Sarah Jessica Parker, and a year later appeared in Spike Lee's Girl 6. She also made several cameos as herself throughout the 1990s, both in films and on television. Making a case for herself as a performer in various television genres, she guest starred on numerous prime-time programs including The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, New York Undercover, and The Cosby Show.

Campbell would branch out into the music business with the release of her album Babywoman in 1995, and gained much attention in Japan over her hit single on the album. In 1996, she was featured in Tony Hickox's Invasion of Privacy, and in 1997, An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, starring Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jackie Chan. In addition, her media credits were rounded off by two books: the best-seller Swan, co-written by Campbell, and Naomi, a collection of photographs spanning the length of the model's career. ~ Sarah Sloboda, Rovi
Wikipedia on Answers.com:

Naomi Campbell

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Naomi Campbell

Campbell at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011
Born 22 May 1970 (1970-05-22) (age 41)[1]
Streatham, London, England
Occupation Model, actress, singer, writer, designer
Ethnicity British Jamaican
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[2]
Hair color Brown
Eye color Brown
Measurements 34-24-34 in (86-61-86 cm)
Agency TESS Management (London)
Marilyn Agency (Paris)
d'management group (Milan)
Marilyn Model Mgmt (NYC)

Naomi Campbell (born 22 May 1970) is a British model. Scouted at the age of 15, she established herself among the top three most recognisable and in-demand models of the late 1980s and early 1990s,[3] and she was one of six models of her generation declared "supermodels" by the fashion world.[4] As the most famous black model of her time,[5] Campbell has been outspoken throughout her career against the racial bias that exists in the fashion industry.[6] Her personal life is widely reported, particularly her affairs with famous men—including boxer Mike Tyson and actor Robert De Niro[7]—and several high-profile assault convictions.[8]

Contents

Early life

Campbell was born in the working-class Streatham district of South London, the daughter of Jamaican-born dancer Valerie Morris.[9] In accordance with her mother's wishes, Campbell has never met her father,[10] who abandoned her mother when she was four months pregnant,[9] and who went unnamed on her birth certificate.[10] She took on the surname Campbell from her mother's second marriage.[9] Her half-brother, Pierre, was born in 1986.[11] Campbell is of Afro-Jamaican descent, as well as of Chinese Jamaican ancestry through her paternal grandmother, who carried the family name Ming.[9]

During her early years, Campbell lived in Rome, where her mother worked as a modern dancer.[7] Following their return to London, she was left in the care of her maternal grandmother, Ruby, while her mother travelled across Europe with the dance troupe Fantastica.[11] At five years old, Campbell was enrolled at the Barbara Speake Stage School,[11] and at the age of ten, she was accepted into the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, where she studied ballet.[9]

Career

Campbell's first public appearance came at the age of seven, in 1978, when she was featured in the music video for Bob Marley's "Is This Love".[12] That same year, she played Snow White in two episodes of the Children's Film Foundation television series The Chiffy Kids.[13] At the age of twelve, she tap-danced in the music video for Culture Club's "I'll Tumble 4 Ya".[7]

In 1986, Campbell was scouted by Beth Boldt, head of the Synchro model agency, while window-shopping in Covent Garden.[14] Her career quickly took off—in April, just before her sixteenth birthday, she appeared on the cover of British Elle.[7] Over the next few years, Campbell's success grew steadily: she walked the runway for such designers as Gianni Versace, Azzedine Alaïa, and Isaac Mizrahi, and posed for such photographers as Peter Lindbergh, Herb Ritts, and Bruce Weber.[7] By the late 1980s, Campbell was part of a trio of models—the others being Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista—known as the "Trinity",[7] who became the most recognisable and in-demand models of their generation.[3]

When faced with discrimination, Campbell received support from her friends; she later quoted Turlington and Evangelista as telling Dolce & Gabbana, "If you don't use Naomi, you don't get us."[14] In December 1987, she appeared on the cover of British Vogue, as that publication's first black cover girl since 1966.[6] In August 1988, she became the first black model to appear on the cover of French Vogue,[7] after her friend and mentor, designer Yves St. Laurent, threatened to withdraw his advertising from the magazine if it continued to refuse to place black models on its cover.[15] The following year, she appeared on the cover of American Vogue, which marked the first time a black model graced the front of the September issue, traditionally the year's biggest and most important issue.[7]

In January 1990, Campbell, who was declared "the reigning megamodel of them all" by Interview,[16] appeared with Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, and Tatjana Patitz on an iconic cover of British Vogue, shot by Peter Lindbergh.[17] The group was subsequently cast to star in the music video for George Michael's "Freedom! '90".[3] By then, Campbell—along with Turlington, Evangelista, Crawford, and Claudia Schiffer—formed an elite group of models declared "supermodels" by the fashion industry.[4] With the addition of newcomer Kate Moss, they were collectively known as the "Big Six".[4]

In March 1991, in a defining moment of the so-called supermodel era, Campbell walked the runway for Versace with Turlington, Evangelista, and Crawford, arm-in-arm and lip-synching the words to "Freedom! '90".[3] Later that year, she starred as Michael Jackson's love interest in the music video for "In the Closet".[12] In April 1992, she posed with several other top models for the hundredth-anniversary cover of American Vogue, shot by Patrick Demarchelier.[18] That same year, she appeared in Madonna's controversial book Sex, in a set of nude photos with Madonna and rapper Big Daddy Kane.[19]

In 1993, Campbell twice appeared on the cover of American Vogue; in April, alongside Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, Stephanie Seymour, and Helena Christensen, and again, solo, in June. She famously fell on the runway in Vivienne Westwood's foot-high platform shoes, which were later displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.[14] Despite her success, however, Elite Model Management, which had represented Campbell since 1987, fired her in September, on the grounds that "no amount of money or prestige could further justify the abuse" to staff and clients.[20] Elite founder John Casablancas described her as "manipulative, scheming, rude, and impossible."[20]

In the mid 1990s, Campbell branched out into other areas of the entertainment industry.[20] Her novel Swan, about a supermodel dealing with blackmail, was released in 1994 to poor reviews.[21] It was ghostwritten by Caroline Upcher, with Campbell explaining that she "just did not have the time to sit down and write a book."[22] That same year, Campbell released her album babywoman, named after designer Rifat Ozbek's nickname for her.[7] A critical and commercial failure,[23] the album produced the single "Love and Tears", which reached No. 40 on the UK charts.[24] In 1995, Campbell and fellow models Claudia Schiffer and Elle Macpherson invested in an ill-fated chain of restaurants called the Fashion Café.[4] Campbell also attempted an acting career: she had small roles in Miami Rhapsody and Spike Lee's Girl 6, as well as a recurring role on the second season of New York Undercover.[13]

In 1998, Time declared the end of the supermodel era.[4] By then, Campbell had mostly retired from the runway,[4] but she continued print modelling. In 1999, she signed her first cosmetics contract with Cosmopolitan Cosmetics, a division of Wella, through which she launched several signature fragrances.[7] In November of that year, she posed with twelve other top models for the "Modern Muses" cover of the Millennium Issue of American Vogue, shot by Annie Leibovitz.[7] The following month, she appeared in a white string bikini and furs on the cover of Playboy.[7] In October 2001, she appeared with rapper Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs on the cover of British Vogue, with the headline "Naomi and Puff: The Ultimate Power Duo".[7]

Campbell at FashionWeekLive in 2007

After more than two decades as a model, Campbell is still in-demand.[25] In 2007, she walked the runway for Dior's sixtieth-anniversary fashion show at Versailles.[7] In July 2008, she appeared with fellow black models Liya Kebede, Sessilee Lopez, and Jourdan Dunn on the gatefold cover of a landmark all-black issue of Italian Vogue, shot by Steven Meisel. In September of that year, Campbell reunited with Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, and Stephanie Seymour for "A League of Their Own", a Vanity Fair feature on the supermodel legacy.[7] In September 2010, she appeared with Liya Kebede and Iman on the cover of the fortieth-anniversary issue of Essence.[7]

Despite her status as the most famous black model of her time, Campbell never earned the same volume of advertising assignments as her white colleagues,[5] and she was not signed by a cosmetics company until as late as 1999.[9] In 1991, she revealed, "I may be considered one of the top models in the world, but in no way do I make the same money as any of them."[5] Throughout her career, Campbell has been outspoken against the racial bias that exists in the fashion industry.[9] In 1997, she stated, "There is prejudice. It is a problem and I can't go along any more with brushing it under the carpet. This business is about selling, and blonde and blue-eyed girls are what sells."[6] A decade later, she again spoke out against discrimination, stating, "The American president may be black, but as a black woman, I am still an exception in this business. I always have to work harder to be treated equally."[26]

Charity work

Campbell is involved with several charitable causes. She supports the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, for which she organised a benefit Versace fashion show in 1998.[7] Held at Nelson Mandela's South African presidential residence,[7] the show was the subject of a documentary titled FashionKingdom, or alternatively, Naomi Conquers Africa.[13] Campbell, whose mother has battled breast cancer,[11] also supports Breakthrough Breast Cancer. In 2004, she was featured on FHM's charity single Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?, as well as in the accompanying music video, of which all profits were donated to Breakthrough.[27] She appeared in a print and media campaign for the charity's fundraising initiative Fashion Targets Breast Cancer,[28] and she opened a Breakthrough breast cancer research unit in 2009.[29]

Campbell during a meeting with Argentine president Cristina Fernández in 2008

In 2005, Campbell founded the charity We Love Brazil, which aims to raise awareness and funds to fight poverty in Brazil through the sale of fabrics made by local women.[30] That same year, Campbell founded the charity Fashion for Relief, which has organised fund-raising fashion shows to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the India terrorist attacks in 2009, the Haiti earthquake in 2010, and the Japan earthquake in 2011.[7][31] Fashion for Relief has reportedly raised £4.5 million.[31] Since 2007, Campbell has been the honorary president of Athla Onlus, an Italian organisation that works to further the social integration of young people with learning disabilities.[32] In 2009, Campbell became a goodwill ambassador for the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood. She has since joined the charity's patron, Sarah Brown, the wife of former British prime minister Gordon Brown, on several missions to promote maternal health.[7]

Campbell has received recognition for her charitable work. In 2007, she was named an ambassador of Rio de Janeiro by mayor Cesar Maia in recognition of her efforts to fight poverty in Brazil.[30] In 2009, she was awarded Honorary Patronage of Trinity College's University Philosophical Society for her charitable and professional work.[33] In 2010, Sarah Brown presented her with an "Outstanding Contribution" award from British Elle for her work as an ambassador for the White Ribbon Alliance, as well as her work in the fashion industry.[34]

Personal life

Campbell, who has never met her biological father, regards record producers Quincy Jones and Chris Blackwell as adopted father figures.[35] Former South African president Nelson Mandela has referred to Campbell as his "honorary granddaughter".[14] She first met Mandela in November 1994, after his party, the African National Congress, invited her to travel to South Africa to meet with their leader.[7] She had previously donated the proceeds from a photo shoot in Tanzania to the ANC.[7] Over the years, Campbell has lent support to many of Mandela's political campaigns and humanitarian causes.[7]

Campbell has never married.[36] In the late 1980s, she dated boxer Mike Tyson, who said of her, "She has a great body. And she's scared of nothing."[7] In the early 1990s, she had an on-again-off-again relationship with actor Robert De Niro.[7] In 1993, she became engaged to U2 bassist Adam Clayton. They met in February of that year, after Clayton, asked in an interview if there was anything in the world he desired but didn't have, responded: "A date with Naomi Campbell". Campbell and Clayton separated the following year.[14] She then dated dancer Joaquín Cortés in the mid to late 1990s.[7] In 1998, she became engaged to Formula One racing head Flavio Briatore; they were involved in an on-again-off-again relationship until their separation in 2003.[7][14] Campbell now considers Briatore her "mentor".[35] She dated businessman Badr Jafar in the mid 2000s.[14] Since 2008, Campbell has been in a relationship with businessman Vladimir Doronin.[14]

In 1999, Campbell entered rehab after a five-year addiction to cocaine.[14] Of her choice, in 1994, to first use the drug, Campbell said in 2005, "I was having fun. I was living this life of travelling the world and having people just give you anything. [But] the little glow in your face goes....It's a very nasty drug."[14] In 2002, Campbell successfully claimed a breach of privacy against the Daily Mirror, after the newspaper published a report of her drug addiction, including a photograph of her leaving a Narcotics Anonymous meeting.[37] The High Court ordered £3,500 in damages from the Daily Mirror, but later that year the ruling was overturned by the Appeal Court, which ordered Campbell to pay the newspaper's £350,000 legal costs.[37] In 2004, however, the Law Lords reinstated the High Court ruling and damages.[37]

In August 2010, Campbell made a highly-publicised appearance at a war crimes trial in Leidschendam, against former Liberian president Charles Taylor to give evidence on "blood diamonds" she allegedly received from Taylor in 1997.[38] She initially refused to testify, and—after being subpoenaed—told the court that being there was a "big inconvenience" for her.[39] Campbell testified that she was given "dirty-looking" stones by two unidentified men after a Nelson Mandela Children's Fund function attended by Taylor.[39] Children's Fund director Jeremy Ratcliffe, Campbell's former agent Carole White, and actress Mia Farrow all testified that Campbell in fact knew at the time that the diamonds had originated from Taylor.[40]

Assault cases

Between 1998 and 2008, Campbell was accused ten times of committing acts of violence against employees, associates, and, in one instance, police officers. In 2000, Campbell pleaded guilty in Toronto to assaulting her personal assistant Georgina Galanis with a cell phone. Campbell paid Galanis an undisclosed sum and agreed to attend anger management classes; her record was cleared in exchange for her expressing remorse.[41][42]

By 2006, eight other employees and associates had come forward with claims of abuse: secretary Vanessa Frisbee claimed she was physically assaulted by Campbell, housekeeper Millicent Burton claimed Campbell had slapped, kicked, and scratched her, assistant Simone Craig claimed Campbell held her hostage and threw a phone at her, housekeeper Ana Scolavino claimed Campbell threw a BlackBerry personal organiser at her, maid Gaby Gibson claimed Campbell hit her and called her names, and assistant Amanda Brack claimed Campbell slapped and beat her with a BlackBerry.[14][42][43] Campbell's drug therapist claimed Campbell scratched her face during a counselling session.[42] Actress Yvonne Sciò claimed Campbell left her "covered in blood" after an altercation at a Rome hotel.[42] Sciò said, "She punched me in the face. She was like Mike Tyson."[42] In 2005, Campbell was photographed wearing a Chip and Pepper T-shirt that read "Naomi Hit Me...and I Loved It".[14]

In 2007, Campbell pleaded guilty in New York to assaulting her former housekeeper Ana Scolavino.[8][14] She was sentenced to pay Scolavino's medical expenses, attend an anger management program, and perform five days of community service with New York's sanitation department.[14] She attended her community service wearing designer outfits, including fedoras, furs, and—upon completion of her sentence—a silver sequined Dolce & Gabbana gown.[7][14] Campbell detailed her community service experience in a W feature titled "The Naomi Diaries", in which she wrote, "I keep on sweeping. I'm getting very protective of my pile of rubbish—kind of the way I feel about my Hermès handbag."[14] That same year, Campbell settled the lawsuits brought by actress Yvonne Sciò and her former assistant Amanda Brack.[14][44] She spoofed herself in a Dunkin' Donuts commercial, directed by Zach Braff, which showed her breaking her heel while gardening and throwing it through a window.[14]

In 2008, Campbell pleaded guilty to assaulting two police officers at Heathrow Airport in London.[8] She had spat at the officers following an argument about her lost luggage.[14] Campbell was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and fined $4,600.[8] She was banned for life from British Airways.[7] In 2009, Campbell settled the lawsuit brought by her former maid Gaby Gibson.[45]

Filmography

Title Year Role Notes
The Chiffy Kids 1978 Snow White TV series; two episodes
Kids 1979 April TV series; two episodes
The Cosby Show 1988 Julia TV series; three episodes
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 1990 Helen TV series; one episode
Cool as Ice 1991 Singer
Models: The Film 1991 Herself Documentary
The Night We Never Met 1993 Shopper
Harry Enfield and Chums 1994 Herself TV series; one episode
Prêt-à-Porter 1994 Herself Documentary
Miami Rhapsody 1995 Kaia
To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar 1995 Girl
New York Undercover 1995 Simone TV series; six episodes
Absolutely Fabulous 1995 Herself TV series; one episode
Unzipped 1995 Herself Documentary
Girl 6 1996 Girl #75
Invasion of Privacy 1996 Cindy Carmichael
Catwalk 1996 Herself Documentary
Burn Hollywood Burn 1997 Attendant #2
For Your Love 1998 Herself TV series; one episode
FashionKingdom 1998 Herself Documentary
Trippin' 1999 Naomi Shaffer
Prisoner of Love 1999 Tracy
Ali G Indahouse 2002 Herself
Fastlane 2003 Lena Savage TV series; one episode
Fat Slags 2004 Sales assistant
The Call 2006 Dark Angel – The Evil Short film
Ugly Betty 2008 Herself TV series; one episode
Karma, Confessions and Holi 2009 Jennifer
Rose, c'est Paris 2010 Herself TV film
Por el Camino 2010 Herself

Discography

References

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