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Naomi Campbell's ex-agent lied about diamonds, war crimes trial told

Carole White was accused today of lying when she claimed supermodel naomi Campbell knowingly received ‘blood diamonds’ from former Liberian president Charles Taylor.

Carole White repeatedly denied making up her account of what happened at a September 1997 party hosted by Nelson Mandela in Pretoria, South Africa.

Campbell insisted she did not know who gave her a gift of diamonds after the gathering — but her ex-agent and actress Mia Farrow contradict her claim.

Ms White yesterday told the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, the Netherlands, that Campbell was flirting with Taylor at the dinner and he said he would give the model some diamonds.

Taylor's defence lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths QC, today suggested that her evidence was a “figment of her imagination”.

He said: “Where you say that Miss Campbell and Mr Taylor were mildly flirtatious with each other, again I suggest that's a complete fabrication by you.”

She replied: “It's not.”

Mr Griffiths repeatedly asked Ms White about a witness statement in which she said she heard Taylor promising to give Campbell the diamonds at the dinner table.

She said today that she didn’t hear him say he’d make the gift.

“He nodded that he was going to send her diamonds. I didn't hear the words, I don't recall them,” she said.

“When Naomi Campbell leaned back to tell me that Charles Taylor was going to send her diamonds, he was in agreement. I don't recall the conversation word for word.”

Mr Griffiths said: “The bottom line is, you made this up.”

Ms White replied: “I did not make it up.”

Ms White said Campbell told her that Graca Machel, Mr Mandela's future wife, was annoyed that the South African President had invited Taylor to the dinner.

But the Streatham-born supermodel said she was unaware of this, that she did not know who he was at the time and that she had never even heard of Liberia.

Mr Griffiths said to Ms White: “I suggest that's a complete lie, nothing like that was said to you by Naomi Campbell.”

She replied: “It's not a lie.”

Campbell said she sat between Mr Mandela and US music producer Quincy Jones at dinner.

But Ms White said the model was placed between Taylor and another man who she believed was the Liberian defence minister.

Mr Griffiths said: “I suggest you are totally wrong about that.”

She replied: “It's what I recall.”

Ms White is suing Campbell for breach of contract, claiming that the model owes her about US$600,000 (£375,935) in lost earnings over the past two years.

Ending his cross-examination, Mr Griffiths said: “Quite frankly, Miss White, I suggest that your account is a complete pack of lies, and you have made it up in order to assist in your lawsuit against Miss Campbell. Put bluntly, for you this is all about money, there ain't nothing funny.”

Ms White replied: “I can categorically tell you, your honour, it is not a lie. This happened.

“I told people after the journey in 1997, people I trusted, this story, because it was quite funny at the time, although it's not funny now.

“It's totally the truth. It has nothing whatsoever to do with my business argument with Naomi Campbell.”

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