AceShowbiz - Naomi Campbell has defended herself after it emerged she knew convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The 66-year-old financier, who had ties to the fashion industry, was found dead in his New York prison cell earlier this month as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.
After it emerged she had met the sex offender at her 31st birthday party, Campbell uploaded a YouTube video to defend herself against accusations of wrongdoing.
"I've always said, 'I'm not a saint, I'm a work in progress', but I will not be held hostage by my past... This is a direct character assassination and it belongs in, like, an (George) Orwell book," she fired back in the video released on Wednesday, August 21 in response to questions by an aide off-camera, about her ties to Epstein.
"Yes I knew him. 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 shows," explained the 49-year-old fashion icon.
Campbell insisted she was "sickened" by the allegations against Epstein, who was accused of preying on vulnerable underage girls, and was facing more than 45 years in prison at the time of his death.
"What he's done is indefensible. And when I had 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, just like everybody else," she said. "And thank God that I had good people around me that protected me from this. Right now I stand with the victims. I can't... they're scarred for life. For life."