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Wednesday, 27 March, 2002, 18:33 GMT
Supermodel's life in the spotlight
Naomi Campbell
Ms Campbell: Determined streak to reach the top
Supermodel Naomi Campbell - who won her privacy case against the Mirror newspaper on Wednesday - knows all about life in the media spotlight.

The 5ft 10ins tall model was just 15 when she was plucked from obscurity in London's Covent Garden and thrust into the glamourous world of international modelling.

During her latest "performance" - in the High Court to defend her action against MGN Ltd - Ms Campbell presented a cool, articulate image.

It was a far cry from her prima donna reputation on the world's catwalks where she is almost as famous for her temper as her face.

My work is to be photographed ... that's my job but I'm not that 24/7

Naomi Campbell

Born in London's Streatham, Ms Campbell, 31, is known to have a highly determined streak, said to have been inherited from her mother Valerie.

She was brought up by her mother, grandmother and a nanny.

Original supermodel

As an up and coming star Naomi attended the Barbara Speake School of Drama and the Italia Conti School of Drama before catching the eye of an Elite model agency scout.

One of the original supermodels, with statistics of 34-23-32 she still remains one of the most sought-after catwalk performers.

Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell was one of the original supermodels

During the case at London's High Court she told Mr Justice Morland: "My work is to be photographed.

"That's what I do. That's my job but I'm not that 24/7.

"I'm also a human being who has another life that I like to live away from the media."

That full life has included becoming the first black model to grace the covers of Vogue and Time.

She has appeared on films, TV and music videos and in coffee table books such as Madonna's infamous Sex.


She has also launched her own fragrance, co-owned a restaurant chain, published her own novel and even had a record in the Japanese charts.

Her many romances have ensured her presence in the tabloid press, including a high-profile relationship with U2's Adam Clayton, to whom she was once engaged.

She has also had well-publicised liaisons with Robert de Niro, Mike Tyson, Spanish dancer Joaquin Cortez and Benetton chief Flavio Briatore.

The pitfalls of her fame have come in the never ending media speculation and coverage she receives.

It has also led to an allegation of assault by a former assistant, 10 years in therapy, treatment for behavioural problems and drug abuse.

It was the latter which accounted for her attendance at the Narcotics Anonymous meeting after which she was photographed by the Mirror.

But Campbell takes pains to point out her limitations.

"I am a human being. I make mistakes. Don't put me on a pedestal because I am going to fall," she has said.

During her court appearance the model may have given the odd pout and hint of petulance, but the tears never flowed and her anger did not show.

It was not until she sat back down among her lawyers that the world's most famous black model reached for her tissues.

The BBC's Nick Higham
"Naomi Campbell has not established that England has a privacy law"
See also:

12 Feb 02 | UK
Supermodel has 'no regrets'
02 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Naomi 'quits' top catwalks
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