Film star Mia Farrow contradicts supermodel Naomi Campbell's diamond story

SUPERMODEL Naomi Campbell flirted with accused war criminal Charles Taylor and told her former agent "he's going to give me some diamonds", the trial of the former Liberian president has heard.

Carole White and the actress Mia Farrow both contradicted Campbell's account about uncut diamonds that Taylor allegedly gave her after a party in September 1997 hosted by Nelson Mandela in Pretoria, South Africa.

Farrow said Campbell told her she received a "huge diamond" from Taylor, contradicting the supermodel's testimony that she did not know the value of the gift or whom it was from.

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Giving evidence to the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, the Netherlands, yesterday, Ms White said: "Naomi was very excited and told me 'He's going to give me some diamonds'."

She said Taylor was nodding in agreement and "they were being charming to each other" and "mildly flirting".

According to Ms White, two men brought the gift to the guest accommodation later that night.

Ms White said: "They took out a quite scruffy paper and they handed it to Miss Campbell and said 'here are the diamonds'.

"She opened them and showed them to me. They were quite disappointing because they weren't shiny."

She said she knew taking diamonds out of the country was illegal, adding: "I recall telling Naomi the next morning that we shouldn't take these diamonds and we should actually do something good with them and give them to the children's charity."

The next day Campbell handed the diamonds to Jeremy Ratcliffe, the former head of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, a man she described as a "trusted friend".

Ms White said: "He was quite shocked. He looked quite horrified. He didn't want them."

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Earlier, Farrow also contradicted Campbell's account of what happened.

She said when the model came down to breakfast the night after the party, she told the guests an "unforgettable" story.

Farrow said it was the model, not herself or Ms White, who claimed the diamonds were a gift from Taylor.

Farrow told the court: "She said that in the night she had been awakened, some men were knocking at the door.

"They had been sent by Charles Taylor and they were giving a huge diamond.

"And she said that she intended to give the diamond to Nelson Mandela's children's charity."

Under questioning from defence lawyer Morris Anyah, Farrow said: "I also discussed it with my children and they remember exactly the same thing."

The actress did later concede that she may not have heard the term "huge".

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She said: "My recollection might not be accurate on the size part. She might have said large, she might have just said a diamond, it might have been a huge diamond."

Taylor, the former president of Liberia, is accused of war crimes during Sierra Leone's civil war, including using diamonds to fund rebels.

He denies 11 charges, including murder, rape, sexual slavery and recruiting child soldiers.

Defence lawyer Courtenay Griffiths QC said Ms White had a "very powerful motive for lying".

The agent, who is suing Campbell for breach of contract, said the model owed her about $600,000 (375,935) in lost earnings over the past two years.

The case continues.

Human rights campaigner

MIA Farrow, 65, began her career as a fashion model, acted in 45 films and is now a human rights campaigner named by Time magazine as one of the most influential people in the world.

She is also well known for an enthusiasm for adoption (11 children, she gave birth to four more) and for a vicious custody battle with her former lover Woody Allen after she discovered his affair with one of her adopted daughters, Soon-Yi.

While accepting the occasional role, she dedicates herself to humanitarian activities in Darfur, Chad and the Central African Republic. She married singer Frank Sinatra, left, in 1966 when she was 21 and he was 50. They were divorced two years later.