A day after Naomi Campbell was charged with assaulting her housekeeper, Ana Scolavino, the supermodel is saying it's all a case of “he said, she said.”
Naomi was charged for allegedly throwing her cell phone at the housekeeper after accusing the woman of stealing clothes when she couldn't find a pair of jeans she wanted to wear on “Oprah,” prosecutors said.
She was released on her own recognizance and allowed to keep her passport after her lawyer argued that her famous face would prevent her from fleeing.
“She is probably the most recognized and prominent model in the world,” defense attorney David Breitbart told a judge Thursday in Manhattan Criminal Court. “There is no place she could go and not be recognized.”
As for the evidence? Scolavino's attorney, Michael Block, showed Access a white apron and sweater covered in blood.
Block, who came out from Scolavino's Brooklyn apartment to tell us his client's side of the story, claims Scolavino, 42, was wearing the clothes at the time she was assaulted.
“Between 8 and 8:30 in the morning, Ms. Campbell was looking for a certain pair of jeans apparently and couldn't find them,” Block said. “She got very upset, and she wanted to know where the jeans were. The jeans were kept upstairs, and when my client attempted to explain this to her, Naomi got more and more angry”
“Apparently, it was verbally said, ‘You're discharged’ but then said, ‘Please, help me find the jeans,’” Block said. “They went back upstairs to look for the jeans. She began screaming again. My client said, ‘Look, I can't take this further abuse and I'm leaving.’ And she started walking away and that's when she was struck at the bottom of the steps with the phone. We believe a telephone.”
Naomi, wearing a white fur poncho, was arraigned on a charge of second-degree assault before Judge Richard Weinberg, who allowed Breitbart to enter a plea of not guilty on her behalf.
In a statement issued late Thursday, Naomi called the allegation that she hit or injured her housekeeper “completely untrue.” She said she had questioned Scolavino about missing items since she started working for the model more than two months ago.
“She is sadly mistaken if she thinks she can extract money from me by concocting lies by recycling old stories,” the supermodel said. “I have asked my lawyer to look into filing both theft and extortion charges against her.”
The housekeeper was treated at a hospital for a cut that required four staples, said Assistant District Attorney Elina Kreditor, who asked the judge to set bail at $3,500 and to order Naomi, who is British, to surrender her passport.
Breitbart called the request for $3,500 bail “an insult,” saying his client's Park Avenue apartment is worth more than $3 million and she earns "more than six figures on a regular basis."
He said Naomi needed her passport for a trip to South Africa next week to visit Nelson Mandela. He asked the judge for orders to keep the housekeeper away from Naomi's apartment.
The judge said Scolavino, would have to give up her key to the apartment and issued an order of protection against Naomi, telling her she could have no contact with the employee. He scheduled her next court appearance for June 27.
The assault took place at about 8:30 a.m. inside Naomi's apartment, according to a criminal complaint. The housekeeper was hit in the back of the head and was treated at Lenox Hill Hospital, it said.
A woman who answered the after-hours media relations number at the hospital said no one was available to comment and that she could not provide any information on Scolavino.
Naomi was taken into custody shortly after police responded to the hospital to investigate the reported attack.
Facing a familiar sea of cameras, Naomi exited a Manhattan police station shortly after 4 p.m. in a scene that was part runway, part perp walk. Scores of photographers, reporters and film crews had gathered to record her departure; she responded by flashing a quick smile.
In a statement, Naomi's spokesman said the supermodel was not responsible for any assault.
“We believe this is a case of retaliation, because Naomi had fired her housekeeper earlier this morning,” said the statement from J.R. Johnson. “We are confident the courts will see it the same way.”
This was not the first time the volatile supermodel, 35, was accused of reaching out and touching someone with a phone. In 2003, the supermodel 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, Naomi and her maid battled it out, with the worker claiming the supermodel slapped her across the face. Naomi accused maid Millicent Burton of instigating the fight.
Naomi was discovered at age 15 and launched a career that landed her in magazines worldwide — including the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Naomi's high-profile lifestyle has included appearances in music videos by George Michael and Jay-Z and a close friendship with Mandela.
The international modeling sensation has appeared in several films and dabbled in a musical career.
The mercurial Naomi has a reputation for angry outbursts and abusive behavior. She pleaded guilty in Toronto to an assault charge for beating another assistant while making a film in Canada in 1998.
She also battled a cocaine addiction before reportedly getting straight several years ago.