Naomi Campbell hits back at alleged Jeffrey Epstein ties saying she is ‘sickened’ by his crimes

Harriet Brewis
The supermodel captioned the YouTube video simply 'My response to a recent story in The Mail On Sunday'

Naomi Campbell has spoken out about her ties to Jeffrey Epstein after it emerged the late financier attended her birthday party nearly two decades ago.

The British supermodel was responding to reports which linked her to Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and other disgraced public figures.

In a YouTube video, the 49-year-old model and philanthropist said she was “not a saint” and a “work in progress”.

But, speaking to an unidentified off-screen reporter, she called the action of convicted paedophile Epstein “indefensible”.

Campbell explained she was introduced to the notorious financier, who died by suicide on August 10, at her 31st birthday in 2001.

"Yes, I knew him," she said of Epstein, who hung himself in his Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

"I was introduced to him on my 31st birthday by my ex-boyfriend Flavio (Briatore). He was always front and centre at Victoria’s Secret fashion shows,” she said.

At the time of his death, Epstein was facing 45 years in prison on charges of sex trafficking underage girls across his properties in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.

Financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services' sex offender registry March 28, 2017. (REUTERS)

The supermodel admitted rubbing shoulders with Epstein – who she called one of the "hundreds of thousands of people that I've stood next to to take a picture" – but said she was unaware of his alleged crimes at the time.

"What he’s done is indefensible," she said.

"When I heard what he had done, it sickened me to my stomach, just like everybody else, because I’ve had my fair share of sexual predators and thank God I had good people around who protected me from this."

Campell was pictured with Epstein's friend ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell at a party in New York in 2002 (Getty Images)

The model continued: "I stand with the victims. They’re scarred for life. For life."

“I’m not a saint, I’m a work in progress. but I will not be held hostage by my past."

The model was responding to a Mail On Sunday article, which published pics of her rubbing shoulders with what it described as a "hair-raising cast of characters".

It came after it was announced that Campbell is to be honoured by the British Fashion Council for her philanthropic work.

Campbell poses with female basketball players at a forum organised by eating disorder charity SEED on July 24 (APO Group via Getty Images)

During the interview, Campbell emphasised the philanthropic work of her charity Fashion For Relief, which she co-founded in 2005.

“I’m not going to stop, and I won’t be undermined or have my team be undermined for all the wonderful and great work (they’ve done),” she said.