It’s been thirteen years since the dinner party held by Nelson Mandela to celebrate the inauguration of the ‘Blue Train’ – South Africa’s version of the Orient Express. Around table, Imran and Jemima Khan, producer Quincy Jones, actress Mia Farrow, model Naomi Campbell and newly-made President of Liberia Charles Taylor.
Thirteen years on, and Taylor faces trial a war crimes trial in The Hague. A key plank for the prosecution is whether Taylor gave a so-called ‘blood diamond’ – diamonds traded by Sierra Leone rebels in return for supplies of arms – to Campbell.
Naomi Campbell denies receiving the diamonds, but her denial is refuted by other diners from that night – notably Mia Farrow and Campbell’s former agent Carole White. And so this week Campbell is due to give evidence in court and has employed former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord MacDonald to ensure a ban on both media and the public from taking photos, movies or even following Campbell "during her transit to the court".
But if her denial is true, wouldn’t she want as much publicity as possible to lay this thirteen year old ghost to rest once and for all?