Designer jeans can be costly—even for a supermodel. Ten months out from negotiating a pair and Naomi Campbell, for one, is still paying the price.
The supermodel pleaded guilty to one charge of misdemeanor assault Tuesday for hurling a crystal-encrusted cell phone at her maid's head last March over a missing pair of prize denim.
Campbell's copping to the criminal act came after months of denying the accusations lodged by Ana Scolavino, who required four stitches to the back of her head as a result of the incident.
"I threw a cell phone in the apartment," Campbell during her appearance at Manhattan Criminal Court. "The cell phone hit Ana. This was an accident because I did not intend to hit her."
Campbell's about-face plea, laden with qualifiers as it was, differs from her original story, in which she claimed that Scolavino had concocted the phone-abuse tale as a way of exacting retaliation.
The model, who has a well-documented history of being a, let's say, difficult boss, initially claimed she had fired Scolavino on the day of the incident, Mar. 30, for stealing and that it was only after her dismissal that the ex-maid came forward with the phone-whacking story.
"I pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in court today," Campbell said in a statement to the Associated Press. "That's the best way I know to say I'm sorry to Ana. I accepted responsibility and I'm prepared to take my punishment. But I'm not going to let this incident define me. The past is the past. My future holds great things and I'm getting on with my life."
In exchange for the guilty plea, the 36-year-old catwalker agreed to pay Scolavino's medical expenses, about $363, attend an anger-management class and complete five days of community service.
Though, thanks to unlikely celebrity community service pioneer Boy George, Campbell will likely be spared performing her duty in the public eye.
During a plea hearing last November, Campbell's hard-working attorney, David Breitbart, angled to get the judge to spare his client the sort of antagonistic service experience endured by the erstwhile Culture Club singer, whose streetside garbage duty—punishment for reporting a false burglary—was humiliatingly chronicled by a small army of paparazzi.
Breitbart argued that Campbell would be better suited to carry out her punishment at an Upper East Side hospital, noting that aside from being conveniently located near the model's Manhattan apartment, it also lent itself to a nice tie-in with the professional poser's charitable nature: She had, after all, allowed her famous face to be photographed for the benefit of both AIDS and cancer charities.
Assistant District Attorney Shanda Strain did not object to Campbell completing her service indoors, and agreed to give the supermodel until May 21 to complete her tour of cleanup—or whatever—duty.
While not entirely glamorous, Campbell's generous sentence is much better than it could have been. Had she not copped the guilty plea, but been found guilty nonetheless, the strutter could have faced up to seven years in prison.
While at least one legal woe is now behind Campbell, the model is still facing fallout from accusations lobbed by yet another former maid who claims she, too, found herself on the receiving end of Campbell's ire, though this time not courtesy of any formidable telecommunication equipment.
In November, former housekeeper Gaby Gibson, who worked for Campbell for just three months in late 2004, filed a verbal abuse and defamation suit against the supermodel, calling Campbell a "violent superbigot" who routinely harassed Gibson over her Romanian ethnicity.
Like maids before—and after—her, Gibson claimed her problems with Campbell stemmed from an incident in which the supermodel accused Gibson of stealing a pair of jeans, an accusation that was promptly followed, per the former help, with a swift kick in the head.