LIAR; Naomi Campbell Wins Privacy Case against Newspaper but Judge Says Paper Was Right to Reveal Her Addiction and She Gets Just Pounds 3500 in Damages

Article excerpt

Byline: HARRY ARNOLD

SUPERMODEL Naomi Campbell was branded a liar and a perjurer by a High Court judge yesterday.

Giving his ruling on a breach of confidence action against the Mirror newspaper, Mr Justice Morland said the paper were right to reveal that she was a drug addict and receiving therapy for her addiction.

He also said they were right to reveal that she had lied to the public about her addiction, and right to publish the fact that her denials were "deliberately misleading".

He awarded her just pounds 2500 damages for breach of confidence and breach of the Data Protection Act and a further pounds 1000 for aggravated damages.

But his scathing criticism of her for lying on oath left the supermodel totally discredited last night.

Mirror editor Piers Morgan described the court judgment as a "victory" and said: "As she cracks open her champagne she might reflect on the possibility of police action for her abuse of a class A drug and the prospect of facing a perjury charge.

"Her champagne is likely to become flat very quickly."

Campbell, 31, sued the Mirror after the paper published a story and a picture in February last year revealing she was a drug addict and had been attending meetings of Narcotics Anonymous in London.

The story revealed that she was bravely fighting her addiction.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Morland said he was satisfied she had "suffered a significant amount of distress and injury to her feelings" by revelations of her therapy with Narcotics Anonymous.

But he added: "In determining the extent of distress and injury to feelings for which she is entitled to compensation, I must consider her evidence with caution.

"She has shown herself to be, over the years, lacking in frankness and veracity with the media and manipulative and selective in what she has chosen to reveal about herself.

"I am satisfied that she lied on oath about the reasons for her rushed admission to hospital in Gran Canaria."

She had claimed during the hearing that she had been rushed to hospital in Gran Canaria because of an allergic reaction to penicillin.

But the Mirror claimed it was because of a drug overdose.

The judge said he was nevertheless satisfied that she genuinely suffered distress and injury to her feelings by the article - but chose to reflect her distress by awarding a paltry pounds 2500 in damages or compensation.

He awarded her an extra pounds 1000 over an article written by Mirror columnist Sue Carroll describing her as a "chocolate soldier".

It was a reference to the fact that she had been dropped as the figure- head for the anti-fur campaign, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals after she wore a fur coat in a fashion show.

During the hearing, the court heard that the phrase "chocolate soldier" had military origins and was used to characterise an ineffective campaigner.

But the judge said he could "understand that Miss Campbell found the phrase hurtful and considered it racist".

Mr Justice Morland said that over the years Miss Campbell's public and personal private life had been the subject of stories in the media. …