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Black community says: ‘Stop bullying Naomi Campbell’

PICTURED: Naomi Campbell

REV AL Sharpton is among the leading black figures who have called for an end to what has been described as a ‘smear campaign’ against supermodel Naomi Campbell.

The call came after some leading tabloids published articles and pictures implying a link between the supermodel and American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who recently committed suicide.

On August 18, the Mail on Sunday published an article about how Campbell, who it described as having been “unexpectedly honoured for her philanthropy” had “sometimes rubbed shoulders with a hair-raising cast of characters from Harvey Weinstein to Jeffrey Epstein and Kevin Spacey”.

The Mail article alluded to how Campbell, for “all the glamour of her jet-setting social circle…has also rubbed shoulders with another, altogether less wholesome crowd – a hair-raising cast of characters, in fact, with dubious and in some cases bloodthirsty reputations”.

Another tabloid, The Sun, ran an article under the headline ‘Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘teen sex slave’ appears to attend Naomi Campbell’s VIP birthday with paedo in disturbing new pics’.

In an exclusive interview withThe Voice Rev Sharpton said: “Naomi Campbell has been an icon for the African diaspora all over the world. Not only has she been a fashion trendsetter, she spends most of her time giving and sharing and raising resources and funds for those efforts that empower and enable the downtrodden and the forgotten.

“That’s why Nelson Mandela and the whole Mandela family embraced her as a co-warrior. And that’s why we in the States really see her as one that stood in the gap at the risk of her celebrity to stand for what is right and what is needed for the community that she has sprung from.

SUPPORTIVE: Rev Al Sharpton

“For her to be castigated, for her to be in any way smeared without evidence or trial is not something that we stand by silently and watch happen. She was never be silent on behalf of people and we will not be silent on behalf of Naomi Campbell.”

Angry readers of The Voice supported Rev Sharpton’s calls.

Referring to the Mail on Sunday article, one reader who called said: “It is a character assassination of the worst kind. It was a very nasty piece of journalism. It talks about how she has been associated with some very dodgy characters. Why would you do that? The only reason I can think of is that they just want to assassinate her character.”

Another caller said: “This is a woman who has been lauded for her charitable works. This uncalled for character assassination has more than a whiff of racial profiling.”

In a video statement released on YouTube, Campbell said that she was disappointed by how the Mail on Sunday’s coverage had cast a shadow over what her charity - Fashion for Relief - had achieved.

She said: “I’ve always said that I’m not a saint, that I’m a work in progress but I will not be held hostage by my past.

“Fashion for Relief came to my mind in 2005. We started with Hurricane Katrina, we’ve helped people affected by the floods in Japan, we’ve worked with Save the Children, we’ve worked on issues such as maternal health, the Ebola crisis, it goes on.

“I’m not going to stop. I won’t be undermined or have my team undermined given all the great work they’ve done and all the people who have collaborated with and supported the cause that Fashion Relief chooses each year.”

Watch Campbell’s video below:

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