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Tuesday, 12 February, 2002, 18:50 GMT
Editor defends supermodel story
Naomi Campbell in court
Naomi Campbell is suing The Mirror newspaper
Mirror editor Piers Morgan has told a court he had seldom met a celebrity who had invaded her own privacy as much as supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Giving evidence at the High Court in London, he said: "If you are voluntarily going into Hannibal Lecter's cage, then eventually you are going to be nibbled around the back of the neck."

I have rarely encountered a celebrity who has so voraciously invaded her own privacy

Mirror editor Piers Morgan

The supermodel wept as she left the stand on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old is suing the Mirror for breach of confidence and/or unlawful invasion of privacy after it published a photograph of her leaving a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting last year.

She said that as a model she had not made a "bargain with fame" and the Mirror had invaded her privacy.

But Mr Morgan told the court his paper had wanted a sympathetic interview with the model and had not threatened to make her life hell if she did not co-operate.

The Mirror article said that she had been receiving regular counselling in a "courageous bid to beat her addiction to drink and drugs".

Free speech

Mr Morgan said his paper was determined to make a stand in the interests of freedom of speech.

Piers Morgan
Editor Piers Morgan defended the Mirror story
"If we believe her actions warrant condemnation, I see no reason why we shouldn't condemn her."

He agreed a photographer had been sent to the airport to meet Miss Campbell from her flight from Brazil on Sunday.

But the editor said he was not too concerned about the model's "mental state" seeing that she had been "having the time of her life" at the Rio Carnival.

He said papers did consider whether privacy was being invaded.

But he added that any journalist would probably find "hundreds if not thousands of examples of where Miss Campbell had "relentlessly invaded" her own privacy in past interviews.

"I have rarely encountered a celebrity who has so voraciously invaded her own privacy," he said.

Price of success

Desmond Browne QC, for MGN publishers had earlier asked Miss Campbell if she agreed that "if you make a bargain with fame to achieve success you have to live with the consequences and not whine about it".

I am a human being. I make mistakes

Naomi Campbell
She replied; "I am a model and my picture appears in fashion magazines. That's my job.

"It isn't who I am."

Miss Campbell told her own counsel, Andrew Caldecott QC she had been made to feel like she was "publicising my personal life" and making money out of it.

Earlier when asked about referring to herself as a children's role model during a South African trip, Miss Campbell said: "I don't put myself forward as a role model.

"Other people do that. I am a human being. I make mistakes.

The Mirror's original article was not sympathetic and further coverage was "vindictive", she argued.

MGN argues Miss Campbell has previously deceived the public by boasting to the media that she had avoided illegal drugs when others in the modelling world had succumbed.

The case continues.

The BBC's Emma Simpson
"Naomi Campbell is finding their is little privacy in the witness box"
See also:

02 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Naomi 'quits' top catwalks
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