August 18, 2010; Source: The Guardian | Naomi Campbell got headlines for her appearance at the war crimes trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, with an incredible story about a knock on her hotel door and a gift of uncut diamonds that she guessed might have been from her admirer, Taylor. (Actress Mia Farrow and Campbell’s former PR person, Carole White, said that Campbell knew exactly what the stones were and who they were from.)
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Campbell apparently gave the uncut “blood diamonds” as a donation to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. The former CEO of the Fund accepted the diamonds and kept them for 13 years, never informing the NMCF board, and only revealing he had them after Campbell revealed the gift in testimony in The Hague. Now the former CEO, Jeremy Ractliffe, has resigned from the NMCF, apologizes for failing to inform everyone at the organization, and acknowledges he might have “found a better and lawful way to manage the situation.”
That latter point is important, because he is now open to criminal prosecution for the accepting and keeping secret the Campbell/Taylor diamonds. Ractliffe has also announced his resignation as a board member of the U.S. affiliate of NMCF.—Rick Cohen