International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Charles Taylor story on TV in US (with Naomi Campbell….)

Dear Readers,

I’m sure some of you saw the Nightline story last night which focussed on the allegations that Mr. Taylor’s men gave supermodel Naomi Campbell a rough cut blood diamond after a dinner hosted by former South African president, Nelson Mandela, in 1997.  It was basically much of the same territory as we saw covered in the courtroom —  except it contained interviews with Mia Farrow and Naomi Campbell.  While Ms. Farrow is adamant that Ms. Campbell told her about being given the diamond the following morning after the dinner, Ms. Campbell denied it in the ABC interview, got angry about the line of questioning, then stormed out of the interview (after hitting away the camera).  Despite the drama, the piece did do a good job in putting the trial in context for a mass media in the US who may not have come across the Taylor trial before, or know much about the Sierra Leonean conflict.  For those of you with a decent internet connection for videos, you can see it here: http://abcnews.go.com/nightline 

This issue in the trial has also been picked up by other news outlets – the interview with Ms. Campbell was replayed here, along with a brief overview of the trial (that also links back to our site here):  http://jezebel.com/5522014/naomi-campbell-and-the-warlords-big-blood-diamond

This video got a lot of play, actually, and propelled the Charles Taylor trial into the blogosphere and online news outlets – often in unexpected places for a war crimes trial. Here is a link to some of them appearing in the last 24 hours – although alas they mainly focus on Ms. Campbell’s “anger” (along with some sensational headlines rather than the trial itself: 

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/22/naomi-campbell-refuses-to_n_547732.html

 Entertainment Weekly: http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/04/23/naomi-campbell-outburst-abc-news/

Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/people/naomi-campbell-attacks-news-man-20100423-tina.html

US Magazine: http://www.usmagazine.com/celebritynews/news/naomi-campbell-throws-another-punch-denies-link-to-dictator-2010224

Los Angeles Times (blog) http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/gossip/2010/04/preach-it-naomi-campbell-strikes-again-literally.html

Vogue.com: http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/daily/100423-naomi-campbell-mia-farrow-blood-dia.aspx

I’m so interested to hear what you think about this coverage, readers.  Do let me know if you get a chance to watch or read some of these.

31 Comments
  1. Tracey,

    I am so sorry your interview for the Nightline program ended up on the cutting room floor. I am sure you gave some much needed insight into the trial and also this blog site.

    • Hi Aki — that is very kind of you, but really, the important thing is that information on the trial is getting out to a wider audience, and I was pleased to see that the ABC report portrayed both sides of the story — they highlighted the prosecutors’ allegations, and also showed Mr. Taylor denying the allegations so the people watching know that the trial is still ongoing and the judgment on the allegations is yet to come. Also, the viewers could place the alleged Naomi Campbell incident in the context of the larger issues that are coming up in the trial.
      Best,
      Tracey

      • Tracey,
        Did you call my name or used the phrase DISGRACEFUL DISGRACE?? If not, then I see why it was cut….ha ha ha.

        • Noko4 — I knew there had to be a reason — if only I had popped the term “disgraceful disgrace” in my comments in some way! I will remember for my next interview…
          Best!
          Tracey

    • Aki, I thought you brought this out so many times in this taylor’s debate about where is the diamond that “heresay” and taylor haters are talking about,.. and so forth. Now you want to dismiss this new headlines that have further exposed your papay. Taylor is not only a liar in his whole short pathetic life, but an arrogant showman who loves the lime light and center of attention or to say the least; a flamboyant common thief who loves to spend others money!Taylor would’t have lived in the US where he would have found it difficult. No wonder why he broke jail and fled to Africa, the center for corruption, and criminal enterprise activities! Supporters need to settle down and wait for their Masiah’s return to rule them in “wonderland fasugankayu”

    • Naomi Campbell’s rebellious attitude towards ABC nightline was very appropriate. After all, enough is enough! Ms. Campbell was attending a fundraiser to help the victims of Haiti, and to her surprised a microphone was in her face. Another indirect ambushed by the prosecution. If ABC/prosecution wants and interview from Ms Campbell, they should request one, and if she (Ms Campbell) refuses ABC/prosecution should respect her rights rather than, setting up an interview by ambush.

      The careful devised plan of action is to embarrass Ms Campbell in public hoping that she would come forward and join the rest of the prosecution witnesses to concoct lies against President Taylor.

      If the evidence is not there, you MUST acquit

      • Hi Tracey,

        If the prosecution strongly believe that President Taylor in fact give Ms Campbell the alleged diamond, why can’t the prosecution petition the court to have Ms Campbell subpoenaed? Doesn’t the Special court have subpoena power?

        The commentator on ABC quoted the prosecution, “it’s not too late, it is still time if Ms Campbell wants to come forward and cooperate.”

        Is it a precedent of this court to bring in fresh witness when the defense is about to wrap up her case?

        Finally, if Ms Campbell do agreed to come forward and testify the way the prosecution wants her to testify, that President Taylor did give here the alleged diamond, what will be the ramification on her testimony in court vs. the public statement on record that President Taylor didn’t give her diamond?

        Will her testimony be admissible.

        Why or why not?

        • Big B — you always ask such excellent questions. I have researched all that information — let me see if I can pull it into a coherent piece and post answers to it for you — it may take a little while though as this week is a little hectic. But I think a number of people will want to know the same things that you asked.
          Best,
          Tracey

        • B Big,
          Ms. Campbell will not testify the prosecution way, unless the prosecution can show it indeed happen, first. The prosecution cannot because if they could they would have long ago. I do not think Ms. Campbell is foolish enough to get herself caught up in some blood diamond trade. That would be the next thing the news Medias will be saying about her. This is just another prosecution attempt to connect Mr. Taylor to a diamond, which they failed to do in their case.

  2. Tracey,
    This prosecution is really getting concern that they have lost this case. If Ms. Campbell say she did not get a diamond from Mr. Taylor then the prosecution need more evidence to prove she did other then Ms Farrow. These kind of actions just goes to show how much evidence they had to support the indictment and alleged crime against Mr. Taylor.

  3. It is said that “you might get what you wish for” that is to say supporters of taylor are getting their wish in this scandalous lady’s response to the media here in the US! I love it! This has not only created interest and focus on the BLODD DIAMOND, but shows how womanish this rogue was, who would not pass by any charming woman without planning on how to sleep with her! Why would taylor pass a diamond to a lady he happens to just meet the first time without ulterio motive? This shows how all taylor’s girl friends and one-night stands received mercedez benzes and Hummers during his suppressive rule in Liberia! Taylor, you will pay dearly to all you did! your name will go down history for your notoriety and cruelty to mankind!

    • J. fallah menjor,
      Do not permit your self to say crazy things and insult Ms. Campbell and women in general, just because she said she did not get a diamond. How do you know that Ms. Farrow is not lying with an ulterior motive?

    • Fallah,
      You should say Mr. Taylor suppressive rule in Sierra Leone since he’s on trial for Sierra Leone! The issue of Liberia is different ball game so as to speak. We all know very well that when it comes to what happened in Liberia, Taylor is guilty…. no question about it but that means that, other plyers in the Liberian situation will be prosecuted as well. This what international Community don’t want to see happen because those who are behind this case will have to answer questions themselves.
      So, the best thing they could have done is to prosecute Mr. Taylor for what happened Sierra Leone while leaving those who really bear the greatest responsibilities for the crimes committed in Sierra Leone by their own people.

      AS FOR PRESIDENT SIRLEAF OF LIBERIA
      Her problem is starting up now with the 2009 State Department Human rights report and this is what she had to say:
      The 2009 US State Department Human Rights Report on Liberia, concluding pervasive corruption at ‘all levels” of the government, has again come under attack, with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf describing it as “erroneous”.

      The President, at a press conference Tuesday, did not point out the report’s “erroneous” aspects, but she said she will personally write US Secretary Hilary Clinton expressing her disapproval of the report.

      Following its release, the President expressed similar opinion, but later issued a statement welcoming the report.

      The report touched on many aspects the government, including systematic corruption in the judiciary. It said “judges regularly take bribes”, a statement that the President repeated recently when she addressed a conference on traditional justice.

      But the President said she will send “a confidential document to Secretary Clinton.

      “Let me not disclose the contents”, she added, before it is received. But she promised to release the letter after it is sent.

      She added, however: “The report was prepared by the Ministry of Justice. They cite out the inaccuracy. But the report has a lot of merit. So I am sending it forward,” the president said.

      These are the people being protected by the International Community for whom Mr. Taylor is paying the price today but no matter how long it takes, they all will face Justice n the right form, not through false Justice. Justice is become meaningless because it applied to setting people not everyone now a day! VERY SAD!!!!!!!!!!

      • Jacone, let jutice be done to the one in hand first(charles mcauthor gankay taylor) then we wil go after the others, since, it seems that you have finally gotten the “concept” of justice. Thanks also for admitting that taylor is guilty for crimes committed in Liberia, but not Sierra Leone. Whatever the case you are always right, general. Who am I to dispute that? But do me a favor here Jacone; Ellen is not on trial here for war crimes, nor criminal enterprises with the RUF junta. Besides, Ellen probably need to get rid of all former officials who served in taylor’s currupt junta, the NPFL because to my views they are the ones undermining her Administration! Don’t you think so Master Sergent?

        • Fallah,

          What do you mean by “Ellen probably need to get rid of all former officials who served in taylor’s corrupt junta”… is that a threat?

          To the best of my knowledge there is not a single former NPLF or Taylor’s government officials serving in any official capacity in the ellen lead government. Those that are undermining ellen’s government are her currupt protégés she imported from the United States.

  4. Tracey,
    Over the past many months and throughout this very interesting trial, you have provided us with a front bench seat and information we could never have accessed. Good job Tracey and too bacd your interview never made it past the decision room, but am sure you had a lot of information for the world.
    I have always wondered why Taylor (or papi) as his young blood thirtsy stoned followers called him was being tried for but over the months, a complex web of conspiracies to distabilize the entire region is clearly emerging. Though innocent until proven guilty, some of this information is going to do a lot of damage to his defense. But who would have imagined a tie between the worlds super models and diamonds from sierraleone!

    • Thank you Christopher — I don’t remember seeing you comment before, and I want to welcome you warmly to the discussion here (and apologies if I have misremembered that you have contributed earlier). I do agree with you — sometimes the twists and turns in this case read stranger than fiction, and the Naomi Campbell and Mia Farrow incident is one of them which I don’t think any of us could have anticipated when this case first came to trial back in 2007.
      Best, and nice to have you with us,
      Tracey

      • Tracey,
        My reply comes many months after my first response in April. I have been reading widely on anything ever written on Liberia, with an emphasis on West Africa. It is too much but i hope the success of such trials will help put some sanity in the heads of Leaders. The Dictators who plundered the riches of Africa while they basked in glory as heads of governments are largely to blame for poverty. I know many will argue some people are lazy and should work to improve their living conditions. But what if corruption stemming from bad governance and uncalled for civil wars planned by this leaders make it impossible for the common man to earn a living? I hope this forum Tracey can be used for less emotionally charged comments like the ones we have been reading most times. It is good to be here and keep up the good work Tracey.

        Christopher Mutuku Muange

    • Christopher Mutuku Muange,
      Total, Total Nonesence; Tell us the limitations of a celeb.

  5. Fallah,
    Wasn’t it the prosecutors who wanted to put into evidence the words of Mia?? Oh well, even the judges saw the show. Finally, we are getting CLOSURE…..I wonder what won’t have been the play if this was allowed into evidence only to hear from the horse’s mouth….he didn’t get me a diamond??

  6. Well folks,

    I am back. I am here. And I am writing again. And to those of you who said, you have stopped posting, because some of us who see this fake trial differently from the very few on this site, were engaged in supposedly personal attacks, usage of curse words, and our rhetoric was just too strong for you to handle. As the result, you stopped posting. First of all, the argument is based on false premise to begin with, because it is not true. However, I did not see anything different, since I temporarily stopped posting for about two weeks now. Some of you have still not yet posted and you know who you are. Anyways, that’s your problem. I can care less about what you may think about my take on the utter cruel denial of the humanity of mankind that has been inflicted upon President Taylor and at the same time, being falsely accused of things he did not do. Front and center of the charges the prosecution brought was “BLOOD DIAMONDS”. The prosecution alleged that this innocent man traded or sold Sierra Leoneans’ diamond for arms and ammunition. However, they failed miserably to point out the weapon manufacturing companies in and out of Liberia where President Taylor sold the blood diamonds. Another acrimonious attempt on the issue of “Blood Diamond” was when the prosecution said Mia Farrow said, Super Model Naomi Campbell said, some mysterious man said, during the Nelson Mandela Dinner, Naomi Campbell was given blood diamond. Remember now, this statement from Mia Farrow was not a sworn affidavit and the Model has never in the most remotest form confirmed the false assertion of Mia Farrow and the prosecution. In fact, Super Model Naomi Campbell was asked by an ABC reporter the following. “You received a diamond from Charles Taylor.” Seriously folks, is this a question or a statement? This ABC reporter made a statement to me and it was not a question. I love the response from Ms. Campbell. She said,” I didn’t receive a diamond and I am not going to speak about that, thank you very much: and, I am not here for that.” I say RIGHT ON MS. CAMPBELL. YOU GO GIRL .I will however, join you to sing the song Kumbabya. Notwithstanding, after Ms. Campbell ripped the false veil of immaculation of this reporter’s so-called question, the reporter decided to ask the real questions in a question form.”Did you have dinner with Charles Taylor? Listen up folks. This is Ms. Campbell’s response: “I had dinner with Nelson Mandala, thank you very much”. This woman is very smart. This lady is outstanding. And this other Super Model is very intelligent. I say job well done Ms. Campbell. Let us look at the last question. “Did his men bring you a diamond? We were told you did not help the prosecution in this very important case.” UNBELIEVABLE. Folks, this is the job of the prosecution. This is what they should have done before making their obnoxious and horribly terrifying claim without proof. That is why some of us talked about the faulty gathering of evidence. Look how embarrassing this thing is. Reporter doing the prosecution job. Anyways, back to the interview. One of Naomi Campbell’s staffs said, “no, we are not answering his questions” and the Model and her staffs walked out. So folks, up to present, the prosecution has not brought any evidence of this so-called “BLOOD DIAMOND.”

  7. This whole case is crazy! The issue of Naomi Campbell and Farrow; according to Farrow, Naomi Campbell told she received a large diamond from Mr. Taylor through his representatives in the middle of the night. And that Campbell had told she Farrow that she ( Campbell) was donating the diamond in question to the Mandela’s children’s charities.

    The Charity was contacted and they told ABC that, they indeed received large sums of cash from Campbell in successive years but it has no record of a donated diamond.

    TRACEY,
    Did the prosecution ever asked Mr. Taylor about meeting Naomi Campbell, Mandela and Mia Farrow while he was testifying? If so, what was his respond?

    • Hi Jocone,

      Though the document relaying Ms. Farrow’s account was not allowed to be used during Mr. Taylor’s cross examination, the incident was put to Mr. Taylor in court. He said he was at the dinner with Nelson Mandela, but that it was total nonsense that he sent his men to give Ms. Campbell a blood diamond after the dinner. You can find our report giving an overview of both here: http://www.charlestaylortrial.org/2010/01/15/judges-order-that-prosecutors-cannot-use-new-documents-alledging-that-charles-taylor-gave-sierra-leones-blood-diamonds-to-supermodel-naomi-campbell/

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Tracey

      • Tracey,
        a blood diamond or a diamond after the dinner.

        • Hi there Ken — sorry but I’m not quite clear on what you meant by the comment regarding diamonds — are you worried that we used the term “blood diamond”?
          Best,
          Tracey

        • Tracey,
          I am not worried that you use the term “blood diamond” I believe Mr. Taylor said a diamond after the dinner. It was the prosecution who call it a “blood diamond’ without generating any proof that it was a so called blood diamond from SL or any of the other country who used diamond to finance their war efforts.
          I do not think that Ms. Farrow fourth hand hearsay as Judge Lusick called it, is proof that the diamond in question would be categorize as a “blood diamond.”

    • yeah yeah..everything agaist taylor’s credibilty seems either ‘crazy’ or ‘total nonsense’ to you! What a character!

  8. see again jallah

  9. it is a pity that there is an international conspiracy to shade those who actually destroy both Liberia and Sierra leone by trying Charles Taylor. Make no mistake, I have never being a supporter of Taylor. But it is my opinion that this trial is to blind fool us and shade the real culprits, the Liberia and Sierra Leone politician and their supporters in the American government. I think we should be discussing how to get these people in court.