Will Naomi Campbell Be Walking the Runway in Italian Prison?

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Celebrities are constantly in the spotlight, with cameras watching their every move. Magazines speculate over the details of celebrities’ lives like vultures, working to photograph every moment that they can. For those who enjoy following the lives of their favorite celebrities, the paparazzi can be seen as a good thing because they provide an inside look at our favorite stars. But the celebrities being followed often don’t agree. Over the years, celebrities have gotten very creative in the ways that they have tried to get rid of the paparazzi. Naomi Campbell definitely falls into that category, and she recently got into a lot of trouble in Italy for that creativity.

Campbell was just convicted of assault by a Sicilian court after scratching paparazzo Gaetano di Giovanni’s eye with her purse in August 2009. The English model had reportedly just gotten to the Sicilian island of Lapri when the photographer began to immediately snap photos of Campbell and her then-boyfriend, Vladimir Doronin. Di Giovanni then continued to take photos of her as she walked the streets, and she proceed to hit him with her purse, scratching and bruising his eye in the process. The photographer reportedly sought medical treatment and took three days to recover. In 2013, when Campbell was ordered to stand trial, di Giovanni said“I had just started taking some shots of her and I did not expect such a violent reaction.”

Campbell’s lawyer was able to reach an agreement with the photographer so that he withdrew the charges against her, but prosecutor Francesco Massara ordered the trial to go ahead for public interest reasons because of the gravity of the charges against her, Italy’s national news agency Ansa said. She was recently found guilty of assault and received a six-month suspended prison sentence. Essentially that means she probably won’t actually face jail time, unless she gets in trouble again during that time period or fails to finish her community service requirements. However, Campbell has also said that she will be appealing her sentence.

This isn’t the first time that Campbell has had to defend her actions in court. In the past, the model has faced legal troubles due to her quick temper, as early as 2002. In addition, she has been arrested and sued for different acts of violence and abuse, including assaulting police officers in 2008, and throwing her phone at her personal assistant and maid on different occasions.

But while Campbell has had a history of aggression, that doesn’t mean the paparazzi is completely innocent. Di Giovanni originally dropped the charges because he was not distraught by the situation, but ended up pursuing the lawsuit anyway, possibly because he wanted to take advantage of her being a public figure.

The entire situation is certainly messy, and does say a lot about the expectation of privacy that celebrities simply don’t have. There have been many who have spoken out about the way they’re treated by the paparazzi–for example, last year Kristen Bell created an anti paparazzi campaign, calling for the paparazzi photographing children to stop. Campbell was probably in the wrong for hitting di Giovanni, but there’s two sides to this story, and the harassment that celebrities have to undergo certainly does deserve to be taken into account. Campbell’s appeal is now pending, so this fight, and the overall question of celebrity privacy, is far from over.

Angel Idowu
Angel Idowu is a member of the Beloit College Class of 2016 and was a Law Street Media Fellow for the Summer of 2015. Contact Angel at



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