Naomi Campbell is certain she was “protected” from sexual abuse during the early days of her modelling career by designers such as Azzedine Alaia, Gianni Versace, and Yves Saint Laurent.
The British star started working in the industry when she was just 15, and has gone on to become one of the most iconic supermodels of all time, fronting campaigns for the likes of Burberry, Prada, Versace, and Balmain, and walking the catwalk for Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, and Valentino.
Recalling how she shot to fame in her teenage years in an interview with The Guardian’s Weekend magazine, Naomi described how she is adamant she escaped becoming a victim of the rife sexual abuse from predatory men in the business by her close friends Versace, Saint Laurent and Alaia, who she affectionately called her “papa”.
“Of course, I have empathy and concern for those it did happen to and I feel for their trauma, psychologically how it affects them,” Campbell said. “But it never happened to me.
“I didn’t see any of that s**t, because thank God for my armour, my being called a bad b**ch – I was lucky it never happened to me. I was protected by my angels Azzedine, Gianni and Yves Saint Laurent.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Campbell confessed she was looking forward to turning 50 next year and has already planned a huge bash to celebrate the milestone.
“I’m not afraid of being 50. I’m looking forward to a good old dance, too. I want to make sure I dance the night away, surrounded by people I love and who have been with me through thick and thin,” the model explained.
While she didn’t reveal the guest list, one person who will be invited is her mysterious new boyfriend.
“And it’s actually not someone that you know, but my heart… my heart is happy,” Campbell shared. “And the other thing that’s taken me a while to understand in my growing up is that you have to accept and love yourself first, and not be validated by someone else.”
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