Supermodel Naomi Campbell recently celebrated 33 years in the fashion industry.

Campbell is a runway queen with numerous convictions for assault in her past; it's the kind of narrative that earns a beauty her own kind of mythology.

This week she celebrated a career milestone of 33 years in the industry, snarking that people told her she would only last 11.

She thanked her mother for believing in her dreams, which she said she'd had since she was just three years old.


During her career, she's been a trailblazer — being the first black woman to appear on the cover of French Vogue and using her supermodel friends to pressure Dolce and Gabbana into hiring her — she now uses her star power to push for greater racial diversity within the industry.

Campbell calls herself a "grafter", saying she worked hard for everything she achieved, and that nothing came easily.

But Campbell's career has been littered with controversy and has often come at personal cost and in the glaring public eye.

In a 2000 interview with Barbara Walters, Campbell said she never wanted to be known as a "nice girl".

"I find that a little boring", she said in the ABC America interview, where she also discussed her anger.

A New York Times profile describes Campbell as "Cruella de Vil" and said the star turned up hours late (a famous Campbell move), screaming back at the frustrated journalist.


Campbell has been accused of committing acts of violence 11 times, and convicted of assault on four different occasions between 1998 and 2009.

Campbell was accused of beating her assistant Georgina Galanis while in a fit of rage while they were in Toronto to shoot the film Prisoner of Love in 1998.


Over the duration of the case, the supermodel's lawyer argued she was a "person of good deeds" and should be let off without a conviction.

Campbell was first accused of assault by her assistant in 1998. Photo / Getty Images
Campbell was first accused of assault by her assistant in 1998. Photo / Getty Images

The prosector, Calvin Berry, said Campbell "lunged at her, grabbed her by the throat and shook her. Ms Galanis fell to the sofa shaking and in tears," according to the BBC.

Campbell was originally charged with a more serious charge of assault causing bodily harm, after a number of delays to the case Campbell pleaded guilty to a downgraded charge of assault.

Ms Galanis, 38 at the time of the incident, said Campbell grabbed her by the throat and hit her over the head with a phone. Campbell had been frustrated after the pair had become delayed by customs at a Canadian airport, the prosecutor Mr Berry argued.

Ms Galanis also sued Campbell in a civil suit in Manhattan, where she lived. That case was settled and no details about the settlement were revealed.

The Canadian judge discharged Campbell, which meant she wouldn't record a criminal record for the offence. He ruled the supermodel had "learned her lesson and demonstrated her remorse".

At the time Campbell vowed to quit the catwalks, saying modelling was making her stressed.


Following Campbell's first conviction in Canada, the supermodel began to be dogged by abuse claims over the coming decade and beyond.

Another personal assistant of Campbell's, Vanessa Frisbee, came forward in 2000 accusing her former boss of assault, saying she was attacked during an argument.

Naomi Campbell arriving to serve her community service after being convicted for assault. Photo / Getty Images
Naomi Campbell arriving to serve her community service after being convicted for assault. Photo / Getty Images

Campbell denied this occurred and sued Ms Frisbee for breach of contract. Ms Frisbee's case was later dismissed by a British court.

In September 2004, another personal assistant, Simone Craig, sued the supermodel for allegedly holding her hostage in a Los Angeles hotel and throwing a phone at her.

Campbell's lawyer said the supermodel "categorically denied" these allegations.

The case was later dropped by the US Federal court.

In the same year her housekeeper Millicent Burton also accused her of punching and scratching her in their Park Avenue apartment.

In 2005 it's reported that Campbell beat an assistant with a "jewel encrusted BlackBerry". This was denied by her spokesperson.

In 2006, Campbell is arrainged for throwing a BlackBerry at her housekeeper, Ana Scolavino's head. Scolavino needed four stitches and Campbell is arraigned for second degree assault.

In June of 2006 Gaby Gibson says Campbell argued with her, accusing her of stealing a pair of jeans, hit her, called her names and threatened to have her arrested.

In July of the same year, Amanda Brack, another former employee, sued Campbell for verbally and physically abusing her, imprisonment and emotional distress, claiming the abuse occurred on three different continents. She claims Campbell even threw her passport into a pool while they were in Morocco.

Campbell chronicled the 'crazy' experience for W Magazine. Photo / Getty Images
Campbell chronicled the 'crazy' experience for W Magazine. Photo / Getty Images

By 2007 Campbell was serving community service for her assault of Ana Scolavino, and told to take anger management classes. Campbell had pleaded guilty to the assault of her former assistant, telling a judge in the Manhattan Criminal Court that she'd thrown the cellphone but it hit Ms Scolavino by accident.

Campbell turned up to complete her five days of community service in haute couture, including a Giuliana Teso fur coat and posed for press outside the Department of Sanitation.

In a diary she wrote for W Magazine of the experience, she mused about her cute outfits and extravagant lunches she ordered in from trendy New York restaurants.

By the third day, Campbell says, "it's crazy."

"I'm getting all these calls from designers and stylists asking me to wear their clothes. Apparently, people on the internet are rating my outfits."

Her favourite restaurant, too, wants to send in lunch for free.

At the end of her five days, Campbell talks about getting into a friend's Bentley to relax before jetting overseas to watch Venus and Serena play tennis; she concludes that her debt to society is paid and her lesson is learned.

"I go to sleep late, but I wake up early, thinking about my co-workers who are continuing their service … But life goes on, and I learned from my mistakes," she concludes in June 2007.

But the next year, Campbell was back in the news for assaulting two police officers as she was ejected from a British Airways flight.

Campbell argued with staff on the flight, swearing at the pilot after she was told one of her bags had failed to be loaded onto a flight.

Campbell hosted Aussie reality series The Face. Photo / Supplied
Campbell hosted Aussie reality series The Face. Photo / Supplied

The pilot had taken the "unusual decision" of personally approaching Campbell, who was in First Class, to apologise about the baggage mix up.

But Campbell reportedly entered into a expletive riddled tirade against the captain, telling him," You are not leaving until you find my f****** bags." Staff then made a decision to have her removed from the flight.

The prosecutor said Campbell, when approached by three police officers trying to remove her from the plane, "went berserk, thrashing her arms around uncontrollably and striking PC Eastick on the arm with her phone."

She also lashed out with her leg, while wearing "formidable platform boots" with stiletto heels and spat on one of the officers, accusing them of racism.

Campbell admitted two counts of assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct and using threatening words or behaviour at Uxbridge magistrates' court, West London, according to The Telegraph in the UK.

She was fined $4,470 (£2,300), ordered to do 200 hours of community service and pay $388 (£200) compensation to each of the officers she attacked and $291 (£150) to Mr Sutherland.

Numerous reports claimed the supermodel was banned for life from British Airways following the incident.


Campbell (centre) defined an era of supermodels, along with Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen. Photo / Getty Images
Campbell (centre) defined an era of supermodels, along with Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen. Photo / Getty Images

Amidst her struggles with the law, Campbell has battled addiction. Collapsing under the weight of her alcohol and cocaine addiction, Campbell entered rehab in 1999.

She says she "took on my s*** and learned from it. I try to move on," but Campbell remains defiant when it comes to showing contrition for her actions.

"But there are certain times when people try to use your past to blackmail you, to benefit them. That s*** I'm not going to allow," she forcefully told the Guardian in 2017.

"You see me as this girl on the runway with poise, grace and yadda yadda ya, but if I'm having a good time, I want everyone else to have a good time," she continued.

"I'm happy because I'm based in truth, that's it. I'm being honest to my morals. As I said, I'm loyal: you f*** me and I'm done with you."

Campbell has said her tough exterior helped her.

"But being a b**** for me — if that's what people want to think of me as — has protected me in so many ways," Campbell said back in 2000.

"I've never had any of that stuff where you hear of young girls and guys come up to them give them drugs.

"You know, I've never had the sleazy side of what people think there is in modelling.

"I've never had that because I guess I'd put on a look like, don't come near me."