Ex-supermodel, Naomi Campbell has narrated how she almost killed herself and ruined her life with drugs and alcohol with the hopes of covering up childhood trauma and grief.
Naomi, 53 disclosed this in the new documentary, The Super Models, claiming she started to abuse substances as a way to deal with the grief of being abandoned by her father as a child as well as the shocking death of her close friend and designer Gianni Versace.
In the Apple TV+ docuseries, the runway icon opens up about her career path alongside fellow supermodels Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington.
Naomi admitted that during the height of her fame she was slowly ‘killing’ herself early in her career due to the amount of drugs she took in the early 90s.
‘Grief has been a very strange thing in my life because it doesn’t always [show],’ the mother-of-two explained.
”I go into a shock and freak out when it actually happens, and then later is when I break. But I kept the sadness inside, I just dealt with it.”
The fashion world was rocked when famed designer Giovanni Maria ‘Gianni’ Versace was shot dead outside his Miami Beach home in 1997.
Naomi had developed a close bond with the Italian fashion icon and was one of many who were heartbroken by the loss of his life.
Speaking about the special place he held in her heart, Naomi explained: ‘[Late designer] Azzedine Alaïa was my papa. With him, I learnt about chosen families. The same for Gianni Versace.
”He was very sensitive to feeling me, like, he pushed me. How would push me to step outside and go further when I didn’t think I had it within myself to do it. So, when he died, my grief became very bad.’
She continued: ‘When I started using, that was one of the things I tried to cover up, was grief. Addiction is such a… it’s just a bulls**t thing, it really is.
”You think, “Oh it’s gonna heal that wound”. It doesn’t. It can cause such huge fear and anxiety. So I got really angry.”
The British-born model famously collapsed at a 1999 photo shoot after five years of cocaine addiction. The scary moment prompted her to check into rehab in 1999.
‘When you try to cover something up, your feelings… You spoke about abandonment. I tried to cover that with something. You can’t cover it. I was killing myself. It was very hurtful.’ she said
Naomi was born to Jamaican-born dancer Valerie Morris and has never met her father, who abandoned her mother when she was pregnant.
“There’s a lot of issues that I have from childhood. Well, for instance, not knowing your father, not seeing your mother. That brings up a lot of … it manifests a lot of feelings.’’ she said
“One of those feelings… absolutely is anger. But I think that’s a really normal thing. I’ve not always displayed my anger at the appropriate time. It’s always been an inappropriate time. But it’s a manifestation of a deeper issue, anger.’
‘And that, for me, I think is based on insecurity, self-esteem and loneliness, and being abandonment. That’s where my core issues were abandonment and rejection.
‘That puts me in a real vulnerable space, and everyone thinks, “Oh, Naomi’s a really tough girl and really strong”. But that’s what I want to appear to people to be like, because if I fear that I don’t, they’re gonna just walk all over me if they really knew.’ she added