"Addiction is such a — it’s just a bulls--- thing, it really is. You think, ‘Oh, it’s gonna heal that wound.’ It doesn’t," Campbell said
Naomi Campbell got candid about addiction in the new docuseries The Super Models.
The 53-year-old English model revealed in the Apple TV+ series that she had turned to drugs to help deal with emotional pain from her early years, as well as the grief she felt due to the sudden death of her friend Gianni Versace.
“When I started using, that was one of the things I tried to cover up, was grief. Addiction is such a — it’s just a bulls--- thing, it really is,” Campbell said.
“You think, ‘Oh, it’s gonna heal that wound.’ It doesn’t,” she continued. “It can cause such huge fear and anxiety. So I got really angry.”
The fashion icon said that she had learned about “chosen families” thanks to Versace — the founder of high-fashion label Versace — and late designer Azzedine Alaïa, in particular, and so Versace’s murder outside his South Beach mansion in July 1997 hit her hard.
“He was very sensitive to feeling me, like, he pushed me. He would push me to step outside and go further when I didn’t think I had it within myself to do it. So, when he died, my grief became very bad,” Campbell recalled.
She dealt with not only that but her lingering feelings of abandonment from childhood from not knowing her father and not seeing her mother often — which she opened up about in a 2000 interview with Barbara Walters.
Campbell described her handling of grief as a “very strange thing” as it “doesn’t always show,” and admitted that she initially goes “into a shock” when it happens and then will “break” later on. “I kept the sadness inside, I just dealt with it,” she said.
However, that led her down a difficult path and she battled addiction for five years before she infamously collapsed during a photoshoot in 1999. (She previously claimed that cocaine was the only drug she used.)
“When you try to cover something up, your feelings — you spoke about abandonment. I tried to cover that with something. You can’t cover it,” she admitted. “I was killing myself. It was very hurtful.”
However, she said that situation led her to check into rehab, which she called “one of the best and only things I could have done for myself at that time.” She said it has helped her deal with her emotions from her past.
“It’s taken me many years to work on and deal with,” she added. “And it does still come up sometimes. But I just now have the tools how to deal with it now when it comes up.”
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Campbell’s story is just one featured on The Super Models, which also stars modeling legends Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista. The docuseries takes a look at how the ladies “dominated the elite modeling world” while also overcoming different challenges to make it to where they are today.
The Super Models is now streaming on Apple TV+.
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