Naomi Campbell’s face and name were once again plastered all over newspapers and TV news programs. This time, the supermodel was accused of punching limousine driver, Miodrag Mejdina, in the back of the head. Although a spokesperson for the police said that no one was arrested and they didn’t need to talk to Naomi, that didn’t stop newspapers and reporters from weighing in on the fate of the slap-happy Campbell.
It was reported that that the 39 year old supermodel became so enraged when her driver failed to answer questions about her boyfriend, that Campbell punched and slapped the driver from the back of the car causing a small swelling to his right eye. Then she exited the car and fled when he stopped to report the incident to the authorities. Campbell pleaded guilty of assaulting her housekeeper in 2006. She also pleaded guilty of assaulting 2 police officers in London in 2008.
“Yeah, she probably did it. Well, she’s got a history hasn’t she?” one NY tourist asked. “We should dedicate Britney Spears song ‘Oops, I Did it Again’ to Naomi” another New Yorker said.
But there was one part of the story that didn’t make much sense. One report stated that the driver decided not to press criminal charges. Another report stated that the police decided not to press charges. Something was not right. It’s not up to the victim of a crime or the police to decide whether to prosecute. Only the district attorney (DA) can make that decision.
There are many instances where a victim may change his/her mind about cooperating in a criminal prosecution. But, in those instances, if the DA decides to proceed, there is nothing the victim can do. If the victim gets smart and decides not to testify, the DA can issue a subpoena to force that person to come to court. (See my post on Hiram Monserrate – the link is below). So, this story just didn’t make any sense. Was this irresponsible journalism by reporters anxious to spin more Naomi Campbell ‘slapstick’? Or did the police commit a blunder by not arresting Campbell and forwarding the complaint to the DAs office?
Here is some new information: Yesterday, Mejdina’s attorney issued a statement in which Mejdina blamed himself for the ‘misunderstanding’ and apologized. “I had an argument with Naomi Campbell. I got angry and overreacted,” Mejdina wrote. “I regret involving the police. This whole thing has been blown out of proportion and I apologize to Ms. Campbell for causing that to happen.”
We may never know what really happened without access to the files and the parties involved, but here is one possible scenario. It’s possible that Campbell jokingly tapped the driver lightly during a conversation, and the driver (knowing her history) saw dollar signs, and decided that his time had come. No more driving folks around. Maybe when all is said and done, he’ll have someone drive him around.
So Mejdina may have tried to file a complaint, but the cops who investigated the matter saw no injuries, and told him there is no crime, and no need to arrest, but allowed him to make a report. Then the news got out, and the press ran with it. This falls in line with one report which stated that the police compared the incident to a Benny Hill sketch.
But why did Mejdina hire a lawyer?. Maybe someone told him that Campbell could go after him for defamation or malicious prosecution. New York recognizes slander per se. With slander per se, if the slanderous statement alleges that the plaintiff committed a crime, the plaintiff will not have to go through the trouble of proving that she suffered damages to her reputation or career because the law presumes that damages will result.
Maybe Campbell and Mejdina could settle their dispute with arbitration instead of going to court. It’s cheaper, faster, confidential and private.
For arbitration services, go to: www.w-phillips.com
Karla, your lies couldn’t save Hiram’s job