Jet Set Junta: Naomi Campbell's Blood Diamond

This is the craziest story of the week. Naomi Campbell is getting ready to testify at the war crimes trial of Liberia's ex-president Charles Taylor. His lawyers are, of course, resisting this mightily. Surprisingly, so is Campbell, at least initially. The issue is not war crimes, but blood diamonds. Prosecutors have accused Taylor of giving Campbell a (shudder) blood diamond. A minor illegality compared to the massacre of innocents, but the details are mega-juicy:

Prosecutors want to subpoena Miss Campbell to testify over claims she was given the "large" diamond by Taylor after a 1997 dinner hosted in South Africa by former president Nelson Mandela.

Blood diamonds, sometimes referred to as conflict diamonds, are diamonds mined in rebel-held regions of Africa used to fund war.

Miss Campbell's involvement in the case came after the actress and human rights activist Mia Farrow suggested that the supermodel had been given a diamond by Taylor.

Miss Farrow was also at the 1997 dinner at Mr Mandela's home, along with the singer Quincy Jones. According to Miss Farrow the supermodel revealed at the breakfast table that she received the gift.

Miss Farrow said: "You don't forget when a girlfriend tells you she was given a huge diamond in the middle of the night.

"She said that during the night some men had knocked at her door, and it was representatives of President Charles Taylor, and that they had given her a huge diamond. And we're like, 'oh, my gosh.' All I thought was, gosh, what an amazing life Naomi Campbell has.

Read that again. Charles Taylor* and Naomi Campbell were at a party hosted by Nelson Mandela with Mia Farrow hovering in the background like a mother hen, and Quincy Jones on the bandstand. The rich really are different from the rest of us. The linked article says Campbell has tended to react angrily to questions about the diamond. Campbell claims that "some men" came to her bedroom and gave her the diamond on behalf of Taylor. Yeah, right. Is there any doubt that Campbell and Taylor had some kind of *connection*? Chicks dig jerks, after all.

*who was already known as a war criminal who had won an election with the rousing slogan "He killed my Ma. He killed my Pa, but I will vote for him"

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