Tyra Banks Says Early in Career Naomi Campbell Seemed to Do 'Everything in Her Power' to Make Her 'Go Away'
There’s no bad blood between Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell… anymore.
Banks has previously opened up about feeling intimidated by Campbell, 49, who was already a runway regular when she made it in the industry in the ’90s. However, now she’s setting the record straight about the alleged ongoing feud between herself and Campbell.
“It wasn’t a rivalry,” Banks told the Wall Street Journal. “And I’m very sensitive to that word because a rivalry is with two equals to me, where one was very dominant. She was a supermodel and I was just some new girl that got on a plane from Paris and was studying fashion in magazines at a fashion library.”
Banks admitted when she first got her foot in the door, she felt tension from Campbell.
“I had a very painful early days in Paris. As much as I was booking every single fashion show, people didn’t know I was going home at night crying my eyes out because a woman I was looking up to seemed like she just didn’t want me to be there,” Banks said. “And was doing everything in her power to make me go away.”
She continued, “I didn’t understand that as a young girl, like why is she doing this? This is so evil. This is so awful. The adult me understands that she was reacting to an industry that was all about a token. When I came on the scene, ‘Naomi look out, there’s another Black girl that’s going to take your spot.'”
Banks had previously talked about her feud with Campbell when she was a guest on Norwegian/Swedish talk show Skavlan in 2016.
“It wasn’t fair to Naomi, but her response was … to this day, I’m very scared of her,” Banks said. “It was very difficult. — like some of my lowest times of my life — dealing with that.”
The two eventually had a sit-down on Banks’ talk show, The Tyra Banks Show, in 2005 where they had a heart-to-heart and clarified what went down in those early modeling days. “I had made peace with Naomi Campbell,” Banks said on the show. “Sisterhood is so important to me.”