Naomi Campbell, the first black model to be on the cover of French Vogue, the daughter of a Jamaican-born dancer and a father who was not named. Naomi Campbell attended Dunraven School and the London Academy for Performing Arts as a youngster born on the 22nd of May 1970 in London. Campbell is of African-Jamaican descent, as well as of Chinese Jamaican ancestry through her paternal grandmother, who carried the family name Ming.
Campbell made her first public appearance at the age of seven (7) when she was a part of the Bob Marley’s music video ‘Is this love’. When she was 15, an agent discovered Campbell in a shopping arcade at Covent Garden’s, which Campbell frequented after school. She experienced a lot of criticisms throughout the years because she is black but that never stopped her from being successful.
Throughout her career, Campbell has been outspoken against the racial bias that exists in the fashion industry. Modelling has not been her only pursuit. She has starred in pop videos for Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin and George Michael. In 1994, she published a novel, Swan, and released an album, baby woman.
In 1993, she became engaged to U2 bassist Adam Clayton. They met in February of that year, after Clayton, when asked in an interview if there was anything in the world he desired but did not have, responded: “A date with Naomi Campbell”. Campbell and Clayton separated the following year.
In 1999, Campbell entered rehab after a five-year addiction to cocaine, between 1998 and 2008; Campbell was accused ten times of committing acts of violence against employees, associates, and, in one instance, police officers.
During the first such case, heard in 2000, Campbell pleaded guilty in Toronto to assaulting her personal assistant Georgina Galanis with a mobile phone. Campbell paid Galanis an undisclosed sum and agreed to attend anger management classes; her record was cleared in exchange for her expressing remorse.
In 2005 she founded the charity Fashion for Relief which organises fundraising fashion shows and has raised millions of pounds for victims of disasters worldwide. She has also given her support to many other charities. Throughout her career, Campbell has developed a reputation for being notoriously difficult to work with.
Her temper reportedly possessed a short and fiery fuse. She has also been known to be perpetually late to assignments or appointments. Campbell allegedly hits her assistant Georgina Galanis with a phone and eventually pleads guilty to assaulting Galanis.
By 2006, four other employees claim Campbell abused them: assistant Vanessa Frisbee claims she was attacked by Campbell; assistant Simone Craig claims the model held her hostage and threw a phone at her; maid Millicent Burton claims she’d been punched; and maid Gaby Gibson claims Campbell hit her and called her names.
Naomi Campbell is a prolific fundraiser for charities. The model has received awards for her work fighting poverty and AIDS. Through her charity work, she’s struck up a friendship with former South African president Nelson Mandela, referring to him as her ‘honorary grandfather’. She has also worked with every designer there is in the world.