Renowned Hollywood supermodel Naomi Campbell has opened up about a challenging chapter in her life, during which she grappled with issues related to drugs and alcohol, and the profound impact these struggles had on her well-being.
In a candid revelation, the 53-year-old Naomi Campbell shared her experiences in a newly released documentary titled “The Super Models.” She disclosed that she had turned to substance abuse as a coping mechanism to suppress the deep-seated emotional wounds stemming from her childhood. One of the pivotal traumas she mentioned was the abandonment she endured as a child when her father left her, leaving a lasting mark on her psyche.
Moreover, Naomi Campbell pointed to the tragic loss of her dear friend and renowned designer, Gianni Versace, as another pivotal moment that triggered her descent into substance abuse. These emotional challenges led her to engage in self-destructive behaviors during the zenith of her fame in the early 90s, effectively putting her own life in jeopardy.
Campbell’s revelations serve as a powerful reminder of the very human struggles that can often remain hidden behind the glamour and success of the modeling industry, shedding light on the importance of addressing underlying emotional traumas and seeking support when needed.
‘Grief has been a very strange thing in my life because it doesn’t always show.
”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.”, she said.
Speaking about the special place Giovanni Maria aka Gianni Versace 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.’
‘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 which 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 had since 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 feeling absolutely 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.