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Thursday, 3 February, 2000, 03:07 GMT
Supermodel Naomi admits assault

naomi The supermodel's lawyer described her as a "person of good deeds"

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has pleaded guilty in a Canadian court to assaulting her former assistant while making a film in 1998.

Under an agreement reached between her lawyers and Canadian prosecutors, the 29-year-old model was given an absolute discharge, which means that she will not have a criminal record in Canada. An assault conviction can bring up to six months in prison or a $1,370 fine.

Ms Campbell did not attend Wednesday's court hearing, and her plea was entered by her lawyer, Brian Greenspan.

The supermodel admitted beating assistant Georgina Galanis in a fit of anger while staying in Toronto to shoot the movie, Prisoner of Love.

The defendant lunged at her, grabbed her by the throat and shook her. Ms Galanis fell to the sofa shaking and in tears
Prosecutor Calvin Berry
Ms Campbell originally faced a more serious charge of assault causing bodily harm for the incident. But, after repeated court delays, she finally pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of assault.

Ms Galanis, 38, accused the model of grabbing her by the throat and hitting her on the head with a telephone.

Ms Campbell surrendered to Canadian police in December 1998, three months after Ms Galanis accused her of assault.

Prosecutor Calvin Berry said the supermodel was upset with her assistant after they were both delayed by Canadian customs at the airport. At their hotel, the pair ordered room service before the dispute flared up.

naomi Naomi Campbell says she is quitting the top catwalks
Mr Berry told the court: "The defendant lunged at her, grabbed her by the throat and shook her. Ms Galanis fell to the sofa shaking and in tears."

By the time room service arrived, Ms Campbell was talking on the phone and, apparently upset, gave the phone to her assistant to finish the call.

When room service left, "the defendant lunged at Ms Galanis again, grabbing the phone, and hit her with the handset in the head area," the prosecutor said.

Mr Berry said the assistant ran out of the room crying and screaming with the side of her face bleeding.

She has learned her lesson and demonstrated her remorse
Judge Ted Ormston
Ms Campbell was charged three months later and Ms Galanis, who lives in New York, also filed a civil suit against her in Manhattan. Mr Greenspan said that case was settled last March, but declined to reveal any details.

Ontario Judge Ted Ormston agreed to the deal proposed by the two sides, citing the supermodel's previous lack of a criminal record, her enrolment in anger management courses and the settling of the civil suit.

"An absolute discharge is in the best interests of the accused ... she has learned her lesson and demonstrated her remorse," he said.

Ms Campbell is currently in Australia to launch a new fragrance. Earlier in the week she told reporters there that she had decided to quit the catwalks of London and New York because she found them "very stressful".

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See also:
02 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
Naomi 'quits' top catwalks
15 Dec 98 |  Americas
Supermodel denies assault
05 Dec 98 |  UK
Supermodel Naomi charged with assault

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