British supermodel Naomi Campbell was charged with assault for throwing her cell phone at a housekeeper after accusing her of stealing clothes when she couldn't find a pair of jeans she wanted to wear on "Oprah," prosecutors said.
She was released on her own recognizance and allowed to keep her passport after her lawyer argued that her famous face would prevent her from fleeing.
"She is probably the most recognized and prominent model in the world," defense attorney David Breitbart told a judge Thursday in Manhattan Criminal Court. "There is no place she could go and not be recognized."
Campbell, wearing a white fur poncho, was arraigned on a charge of second-degree assault before Judge Richard Weinberg, who allowed Breitbart to enter a plea of not guilty on her behalf.
In a statement issued late Thursday, Campbell called the allegation that she hit or injured her housekeeper "completely untrue."
"She is sadly mistaken if she thinks she can extract money from me by concocting lies by recycling old stories," the supermodel said. "I have asked my lawyer to look into filing both theft and extortion charges against her."
Campbell said she had questioned the housekeeper, Ana Scolavino, about missing items since she started working for the model more than two months ago. Campbell said she fired the housekeeper "for that and her erratic behavior."
The housekeeper was treated at a hospital for a cut that required four staples, said Assistant District Attorney Elina Kreditor, who asked the judge to set bail at $3,500 ( Ђ 2,900) and to order Campbell to surrender her passport.
In her statement, Campbell said she had "no idea" how the housekeeper was injured.
Breitbart called the request for $3,500 bail "an insult," saying his client's Park Avenue apartment is worth more than $3 million ( Ђ 2.5 million) and she earns "more than six figures on a regular basis."
He said Campbell needed her passport for a trip to South Africa next week to visit Nelson Mandela. He asked the judge for orders to keep the housekeeper away from Campbell's apartment, reports the AP.
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