NEW YORK (June 27, 2006) — Naomi Campbell appeared in a Manhattan courtroom Tuesday where prosecutors said a plea bargain was possible in her cell phone assault case. She did not speak during the brief proceeding.
The real action came outside the lower Manhattan courthouse, where some 50 photographers and camera crews waited for a shot of the 36-year-old supermodel after her appearance before Criminal Court Judge Evelyn Laporte.
Campbell, attorney David Breitbart and Campbell’s small retinue were forced to hide inside the courthouse for about five minutes until a car arrived to take them away from the media horde.
When Campbell’s case was called, prosecutor Shanda Strain told the judge that no grand jury action had been taken in the case. The defense then agreed to an adjournment pending a possible plea deal, and Laporte ordered everyone to return to court on Sept. 27.
Campbell, wearing a tight black dress with 4-inch heels, her long hair flowing down the length of her back, was silent in the courtroom. She was arrested March 31 for allegedly throwing a cell phone at one of her employees in a dispute over a missing pair of jeans.
She has called the allegations “completely untrue.” But the housekeeper, Ana Scolavino, was treated at Lenox Hill Hospital for an injury to the back of her head after the incident.
The volatile Campbell has a history of problems with her employees. In 2003, she was sued by a former administrative assistant who said Campbell had thrown a phone at her during a tantrum two years earlier.
In August 2004, in the same apartment, Campbell and her maid battled it out, with the worker claiming the supermodel slapped her across the face. Campbell accused maid Millicent Burton of instigating the fight.
On Monday, in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court, another maid, Gaby Gibson, filed a lawsuit accusing Campbell of “personal injuries,” “employment discrimination,” “civil assault,” “civil battery” and other complaints.
The court document does not detail alleged acts by Campbell, but in a published interview in April, Gibson said the catwalker hit her on Jan. 17, called her names and threatened to have her arrested. Gibson told the New York Post that Campbell got upset after being unable to find a specific pair of jeans.