Supermodel Naomi Campbell cannot keep her name out of the headlines – mostly for reasons that are far from enviable. The latest news is that she owes the Internal Revenue Service $63,487 according to a lien filed in July with the New York City Register’s Office.
The taxes due are related to income from 2009. A spokesperson for Campbell said her accountant has no knowledge of a tax problem.
The lien was filed just a few days before the supermodel appeared as a prosecution witness in an African court. Campbell was called to testify at the Special Court of Sierra Leone in the war crimes trial of ex-Liberian president Charles Taylor, who is on trial in The Hague, accused of “instigating murder, rape, mutilation, sexual slavery, and conscription of child soldiers during wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone in which more than 250,000 people were killed,” according to Reuters.
How does a supermodel like Campbell fit into this story? The prosecution charges that in 1997, then-president Taylor received blood-cut diamonds from the Sierra Leone rebels that waged the war. One month later, Taylor allegedly used the diamonds to buy weapons in South Africa. During that trip, he attended a dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela, at which Campbell was also present. Prosecutors say that Taylor gave Campbell one of the large rough-cut diamonds believed to have originated from the rebels. Regarding the charges that he gave Campbell one of the blood-cut diamonds, Taylor says that is “nonsense.”
As for Campbell, her attorneys say that she has publicly denied receiving a diamond from the ex-president. However, her agent, Carole White, and actress Mia Farrow were called to testify that they were aware Campbell received or was going to receive the diamond.
Now step back a few years to 2006 when Campbell found herself in court again, this time as the defendant in another case. The charges were based on an incident at her Park Avenue apartment in New York. Campbell was accused of hurling a cell phone at her maid, Ana Scolavino, and injuring her. Court testimony indicated this happened in connection with an argument over a pair of jeans. Campbell admitted throwing a cell phone, though her testimony was that she didn’t intentionally hit anyone.
"I had an apartment at 500 Park Avenue. Ana Scolavino was an employee of mine. During the morning of March 30, 2006, I threw a cell phone in the apartment. The cell phone hit Ana. That was an accident because I did not intend to hit her. I am advised that Ana was hurt, and I am sorry about that," Campbell said in court.
Campbell pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. The original charge, which was a felony, carried a sentence of up to seven years in prison. Upon reaching an agreement with prosecutors, Campbell had to take anger management classes, pay Scolavino’s medical bills ($363.32), and perform five days of community service. Because of modeling commitments in and out of the country, she was permitted to complete the community service over a period of 120 days.