Why, Naomi, why?
Although she's one of the most famous supermodels in the world, Naomi Campbell has also become infamous for her string of violent attacks against housekeepers, assistants, police officers and camera persons.
"I take responsibility for the things that I have done," Campbell says on Monday's The Oprah Winfrey Show, "and I do feel a great sense of shame."
The catwalker, who turns 40 this month, has a considerable rap sheet: she lashed out at a limo driver in NYC in March, but no charges were filed. In 2008 she pled guilty to attacking two police officers at London's Heathrow Airport; a year earlier, she was sentenced to community service for throwing a phone at a maid; in 2005, an assistant accused her beating her with a BlackBerry. In 2000, she pled guilty to a 1998 case involving an old assistant — who claimed Campbell assaulted her with a telephone and threatened to throw her out of a moving car.
Campbell tells Oprah Winfrey that she feels immediate guilt after such outbursts. "I feel remorseful. I feel ashamed. I feel for them…[I think,] 'What have I done to them?' If I've hurt them."
But Campbell doesn't write off the tantrums as typical "diva" behavior. "I think it comes from a deeper place than that," she says. "It comes from another type of emotional disorder, because it's not just, 'I don't get what I want. I throw…It comes from, I think, an abandonment issue… just trying to build up a family around me that's not my immediate family. And if I feel a mistrust, then I really just…all my cards go down."
The root of the "abandonment issue": Campbell's mom, Valerie Morris, had Naomi when she was just 19 years old, and left her young daughter in the care of others as she traveled in the hopes of becoming a ballerina, and to build a better life for her child. "I do feel that I abandoned her," Morris admits to Winfrey.
Moved to tears, Campbell says on the show, "of course I understand the sacrifice she had to make."
Another challenge in Campbell's past: an addiction to cocaine which began when she was 24. "I never, ever had to have a dealer," she says. "It made you feel like insatiable, but at the end, it was a destroyer. It's really a devil's drug." Campbell says she has been drug-free for six years, and sober from alcohol for a year and a half.
The fashion icon has also found love – with Russian real estate mogul Vladimir "Vlad" Doronin, whom she met in 2008. The couple now live together in his native Moscow. Although legally married, Doronin and his wife have been separated for 10 years.
"I like men who know what they want, know what they're doing, make their own decisions," she tells Winfrey. "As much as I like to be the controller, it's not in my best interest."
Earlier this month, Campbell was accused of punching an ABC News camera after storming out of an interview. That allegation, she tells Winfrey, is false. "There is definitely sound effect [added]" on the clip, she says, explaining that she simply "moved" a camera blocking her way out.
Campbell ended the ABC interview when questioned about receiving a "blood diamond" from former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who is accused of vicious war crimes. Campbell admits to meeting the leader while in South Africa, but explained he showed up uninvited to a gathering. "None of us knew who he was…and we [only] understood who he was after it was explained." Not wanting to participate in Taylor's trial, Campbell wouldn't get into further specifics.
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