Supermodel may testify on war crimes
Advertiser News Services
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Former Liberian President Charles Taylor's defense lawyers yesterday opposed a request by prosecutors at his war crimes trial to call supermodel Naomi Campbell as a witness, branding the move "a publicity stunt."
Prosecutors earlier this month filed a motion seeking to have Campbell subpoenaed to testify about claims Taylor gave her "blood diamonds" at a reception in South Africa in 1997.
But Taylor's lawyers said the evidence was "tangential to the real issues" against Taylor and said prosecutors were trying to introduce it too late in the trial — 15 months after they closed their case.
Taylor, once one of West Africa's most powerful men, is charged with 11 counts of murder, torture, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers and terrorism in his role backing rebels in Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war.
DUCHESS BLAMES THE BOTTLE FOR LAPSE
CHICAGO — Sarah Ferguson says she had been drinking and was "not in my right place" when she was caught on video offering access to her former husband, Prince Andrew, for $724,000.
The Duchess of York made the comments to talk show host Oprah Winfrey in an interview to air today. The interview was taped Friday in Los Angeles, and excerpts were released yesterday by Winfrey's Harpo Productions.
Ferguson tells Winfrey that she'd seen snippets of the video in airports but had not "faced the devil in the face" by watching it in its entirety. But she says she could tell she'd been drinking and was "in the gutter at that moment."
Ferguson has apologized for her lapse of judgment and has said she had financial problems.
DIRECTOR DROPS FILM VERSION OF 'HOBBIT'
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Hollywood director Guillermo del Toro said yesterday that production delays have forced him to quit the planned film version of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," a two-part prequel to New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson's blockbuster trilogy "Lord of the Rings."
"In light of ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming The Hobbit, I am faced with the hardest decision of my life," del Toro told a "Lord of the Rings" fan website.
"After nearly two years of living, breathing and designing a world as rich as Tolkien's Middle Earth, I must, with great regret, take leave from helming these wonderful pictures," he said, noting the film still hadn't been given the green light by MGM, the struggling Hollywood studio.
WARRANT OUT FOR EX-'SURVIVOR' PRODUCER
CANCUN, Mexico — A judge issued an arrest warrant yesterday for a former "Survivor" producer suspected in the killing of his wife while on vacation with their children at a Cancun resort, the state attorney general said.
Francisco Alor, the state attorney general in Quintana Roo state, said prosecutors would initiate extradition proceedings soon seeking to return TV producer Bruce Beresford-Redman from the United States.
Beresford-Redman has denied any involvement in the death last month of his wife, Monica Beresford-Redman.