An annoyed judge threatened Naomi Campbell with arrest on Wednesday after she failed to show up in Manhattan Criminal Court to face charges of assaulting her housekeeper.
“She is absolutely obligated to appear at the next court date or the law will go into effect. A bench warrant will be issued,” Judge James Gibbons told the supermodel’s defense team, Reuters reports.
The case was adjourned until November 15. Campbell, 36, faces charges of second-degree assault for allegedly throwing a cell phone at her housekeeper, Ana Scolavino, in March. She could get seven years in jail if convicted.
Campbell’s lawyer, David Breitbart, asked to explain his client’s absence to the judge privately, but Gibbons told him to speak on the record.
“The press is all over this girl. There are over 100 cameramen outside this courthouse,” Breitbart said.
“They have a right to be here,” Gibbons responded.
After the session, Breitbart declined to say why Campbell was absent, saying, “She has a right to privacy.”
Prosecutors said a possible plea deal was still being worked out.
Campbell has pleaded not guilty. In March, a rep for the supermodel characterized the housekeeper’s charges as retaliation for being fired. At the time, Campbell told reporters, “It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been extorted.”
The London-born model was sued in 2003 by a former assistant who alleged that the Campbell had thrown a phone at her during a tantrum in a Beverly Hills hotel in 2001. In another incident, in February 2000, Campbell pleaded guilty in Toronto to beating an assistant with a telephone.