Naomi Campbell says racist slur sparked air rage
By Kate Kelland
LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways rejected claims of racism on Saturday after supermodel Naomi Campbell, who pleaded guilty to assault in a foul-mouthed "air rage" incident, said she was likened to a black "Golliwog" doll during the flight.
BA said it did not accept the accusation made by Campbell, who was convicted of assault on Friday and sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid community work, that someone on the flight called her a "Golliwog supermodel."
"British Airways does not accept any allegations of racism," the airline said in a statement. "We are proud of our diversity.
"We have strict policies concerning dignity at work and have long-standing training programs on diversity and inclusion."
Campbell, 38, told Sky News in an interview that her flash of air rage, in which she assaulted two police officers, swore repeatedly and screamed abuse at the captain of the Los Angeles-bound BA flight, was partly prompted by racist comments.
"I was called a racial name on that flight and that was part of my reaction," she said. "I was called a 'Golliwog supermodel' -- I don't think that's really fair, do you?"
Asked who had used the term, which refers to a black rag doll from children's literature, Campbell said: "Someone on the flight, not the passenger."
During Campbell's court case, prosecutors said Campbell ordered the airline captain to find her missing luggage and became violent when police tried to escort her off the aircraft. Continued...