Naomi Campbell was arraigned Thursday evening on second-degree assault charges for allegedly hitting her housekeeper with a phone.
At Manhattan criminal court, prosecutors charged that Campbell, 35, was preparing for an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show when she accused her housekeeper of taking a pair of jeans. Campbell then allegedly threw a cell phone at the woman’s head, causing lacerations that required four stitches.
Campbell pleaded not guilty, and the housekeeper was granted an order of protection against the model. Judge Richard Weinberg denied a request that Campbell be forced to surrender her passport, since she is set to fly to South Africa tomorrow to appear at a benefit as a guest of Nelson Mandela.
Judge Weinberg also denied prosecutors’ request for bail and released Campbell on her own recognizance. She will face a grand jury hearing on June 27.
Earlier on Thursday, the victim, identified only as a 41-year-old woman, named Campbell as her attacker when she spoke to police, who said the alleged incident occurred in Campbell’s Park Avenue apartment around 8 a.m. on Thursday.
Campbell was taken into custody shortly after police responded to Lenox Hill Hospital to investigate what was described as an altercation, according to authorities. She was charged after questioning at the Midtown North Precinct.
Her lawyer, David Breitbart, told reporters, “When I left her at the station she was great, in a great frame of mind and thrilled at the way the NYPD had treated her.”
In a statement, Campbell spokesman J.R. Johnson said, “We believe this is a case of retaliation, because Naomi had fired her housekeeper earlier this morning. We are confident the courts will see it the same way.”
Upon entering a New York City courthouse for her arraignment Thursday evening, Campbell told reporters, “I’m fine. The police have been very nice. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been extorted.”
The London-born Campbell was sued in 2003 by a former assistant who alleged that the supermodel had thrown a phone at her during a tantrum in a Beverly Hills hotel in 2001. The aide also claimed Campbell grabbed her by the arms and threw her down on a couch.
In another incident, in February 2000, Campbell pleaded guilty in Toronto to an assault charge for beating an assistant during the making of a 1998 movie.