Why Tyra Banks is 'very scared' of Naomi Campbell

Tyra banks says when her career began to take off in Paris the industry unfairly told Naomi Campbell to watch her back. Photo / Getty Images
Tyra banks says when her career began to take off in Paris the industry unfairly told Naomi Campbell to watch her back. Photo / Getty Images

Supermodel turned talk show host Tyra Banks has a chequered history with Naomi Campbell - and she admits she's still terrified of the runway icon.

In 2005, Banks invited Campbell onto her talk show, and confronted the fellow supermodel with alleged bad behaviour dating back to their days working together in the early 90s.

It was an explosive and at times bizarre hour of television, as Campbell seemed unaware of what appeared to be a one-sided feud and did not realise she'd be called upon to explain herself.

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"There are some specific things that hurt me to my core ... and I want to see if you remember them too," Banks said during the show.

Now, in a new interview on Norwegian/Swedish talk show Skavlan, Banks again reflects on the fierce rivalry that erupted between her and Campbell, four years her senior and already an established model, when she arrived in Paris in the early 90s.

"I got to Paris, and it was very difficult. I did really well really fast, but then the industry was saying, 'Oh, look out Naomi Campbell, here comes Tyra Banks! So Naomi Campbell, sit your butt down'," she said.

Models Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell pose backstage on March 2, 2007. Photo / Getty
Models Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell pose backstage on March 2, 2007. Photo / Getty

"It wasn't fair to Naomi, but her response was ... to this day, I'm very scared of her. It was very difficult - like some of my lowest times of my life - dealing with that."

While she "cried like a baby" during that now infamous talk-show confrontation, clearly all the wounds haven't yet healed for Banks.

Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell. Photo / Getty
Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell. Photo / Getty

Banks also opened up about the pressures she felt as a young model competing in the fashion industry - and revealed that her agents gave her mother a list of designers who would not hire her if her body get any "thicker".

"She showed me this list of designers and I just started crying and said 'Oh my gosh, Mummy, what do I do? Am I supposed to like starve myself?

Model Naomi Campbell arrives on the red carpet during the 2015 amfAR Hong Kong gala at Shaw Studios on March 14, 2015 in Hong Kong. Photo / Getty
Model Naomi Campbell arrives on the red carpet during the 2015 amfAR Hong Kong gala at Shaw Studios on March 14, 2015 in Hong Kong. Photo / Getty

OK, maybe I won't eat any bread anymore. Just salads with no dressing, salads for breakfast, lunch and dinner'," she recalled.

Instead, her mum marched her into the nearest pizzeria for a hearty meal.

"She said, 'You write down every client in this world that likes ass. Your ass is growing, and I'll be damned if my baby starves herself for this industry. So we're gonna go where your ass is going'."

- news.com.au

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