Campbell's Pal Quits In Blood Diamond Scandal
The charity worker caught up in NAOMI CAMPBELL's blood diamond scandal has quit his position at the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.
The British supermodel testified at the war crimes trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor earlier this month (Aug10), admitting she received a pouch of uncut gems after a dinner party hosted by Mandela in South Africa in 1997.
Campbell claimed she didn't know what the "dirty stones" were or who had given them to her, while prosecutors claim the rocks were in fact blood diamonds, used to finance the 1991-2002 Sierra Leone civil war.
The catwalk beauty handed the gems to her friend Jeremy Ratcliffe, the former chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, to "do something good with".
Ratcliffe held on to the stones for 13 years before handing them over to police in South Africa following Campbell's testimony. He has now resigned from his position on the charity's board.
A statement from the organisation reads, "Mr. Ratcliffe regrets his omission to inform the chairperson, CEO and the rest of the board of trustees of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund of his receipt of the uncut diamonds until now. Mr. Ratcliffe has stated that he acted in what he sincerely believed to be in (sic) the best interest of the charity."
Ratcliffe previously insisted he kept the diamonds as he didn't want to involve his charity in any possible illegal activities.