Far from a runway, Naomi Campbell took to the witness stand at a UN war-crimes tribunal in the Netherlands Thursday and admitted that she was given “dirty rocks” by the former Liberian ruler Charles Taylor – who, prosecutors say, swapped guns to rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone for uncut diamonds during that country’s 1992-2002 civil war.
Taylor, 62, stands accuses of allegedly arming, training and commanding the rebels to kill and maim thousands of civilians across the border. He has pleaded not guilty to 11 war crimes charges, including murder, rape, sexual enslavement and recruiting child soldiers.
Campbell, 40, told the tribunal she handed the gems to a colleague and told him to “do something good with them,” such as donate them to charity, but the colleague “still has them, so they didn’t benefit,” the British supermodel added.
Campbell had sought to avoid testifying but was subpoenaed and forced to appear. Campbell became part of the proceedings after the actress Mia Farrow claimed that Taylor had given the model an uncut diamond following a dinner party hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1997.