Security Clampdown Day at Winter TV Press Tour 2013. Naomi Campbell’s come to the tour to plug her pick-a-model competition series “The Face” for NBC/Universal-owned chick network, Oxygen.
“I will get off the stage and decrease the ugly quotient immediately,” Oxygen senior vp Rod Aissa said after introducing the show’s three supermodel coaches — Campbell, in a chic ivory satin slacks and vest; Czeck-born Victoria Secret hottie Karolina Kurkova in a pretty blue sheath; and Canadian-born Coco Rocha, looking like some creature in an Edward Gorey book.
“There was a report that you were attacked a while back in Paris and were hurt — was that the case and are you okay now?” a reporter asked Campbell, who’d hobbled to her seat on stage.
“I had an injury with my knee and I am on the mend and I cannot discuss any further as there is an investigation,” Campbell answered cryptically.
According to press coverage, Paris police report two thieves on a motorcyle attempted to grab her handbag as she sat in a limousine in central Paris, last November. She suffered a torn leg ligament, and thinks they deliberately targeted her and might strike again.
One critic asked Campbell why she was doing this show, and why now.
It was the idea of taking what she’d learned in her 26 years in the business and “giving it over to young, hopeful supermodels,” said the woman who, in 2000, admitted throwing a mobile phone at her personal assistant.
During the show’s competition, “We are their everything, not only their mentors…I would want to take them out, pamper them,” continued the woman who, in 2007 was ordered to carry out community service after assaulting her housekeeper.
“I’m not a shrink, a certified shrink, but I felt like one because I had to, like, be there to hear everything their family history, their background, their tragedies, their ups and downs…I felt an overall protection to all the girls,” said the Brit-born supermodel who, several years ago, was banned from flying on British Airways for spitting at two policemen during an argument at Heathrow airport.
When Campbell began to talk about helping the girls grow thick skins, Coco finally spoke up.
“When you guys get rejected, it’s because of a story that you wrote, because it wasn’t perfect, it didn’t write correctly, whatever,” Coco told TV critics, looking like something that might have occurred to Chekov in one of his less frivolous moments.
“But for us, you look at us and you go, ‘I don’t like her nose.’ That’s it. That’s why I didn’t get the job. ‘I don’t like her thighs.’ That’s it.”
When the session wrapped, TV critics were blocked by security guards from coming on stage for the usual post-Q&A scrum. Standing behind Campbell was the friendly, enormous bodyguard, who’d been planted outside the elevator on the floor of the hotel where we’re staying since NBCUniversal descended on the tour.
Instead, Campbell took a few questions from TV critics standing in front of the stage, then her entourage circled her to block critics’ view, and she hobbled off the stage. She was greeted backstage with applause.