“There was a report that you were attacked awhile 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 media coverage, Paris police reported that two thieves on a motorcycle attempted to grab her handbag in November as she sat in a limousine in central Paris. She suffered a torn leg ligament. She thinks that they deliberately targeted her and that they 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 perform 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 police officers 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 silly 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, security guards blocked TV critics from coming onstage 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, ever since NBCUniversal descended on the tour.
Instead, Campbell took a few questions from TV critics standing in front of the stage before her entourage circled her to block critics’ view.