Naomi Campbell is opening up about the past drug addiction she used as a “cover up” for the grief she was carrying during the early years of her modeling career.
The iconic supermodel spoke candidly for Apple TV+’s docuseries “The Super Models” when revealing her past struggles with substance abuse. Campbell recalls the dark period in her life that started after the sudden death of her friend Gianni Versace, People reports.
“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 says in the doc.
“You think, ‘Oh, it’s gonna heal that wound.’ It doesn’t,” she shared. “It can cause such huge fear and anxiety. So I got really angry.”
For Campbell, who grew up in a single-parent household in London before finding early success as a model, Versace became part of her “chosen family.” After building a close bond with the late founder of high-fashion label Versace, Campbell took his 1997 murder outside his Miami mansion that much harder.
“He was very sensitive to feeling me, like, he pushed me,” Campbell recalled. “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,” she added.
Elsewhere, the rising model was dealing with issues of abandonment stemming from her fatherless childhood and loss of time with her mother. Campbell says her grief was a “very strange thing” to deal with as it “doesn’t always show.”
The fashion star notes the “shock” she initially goes into when it happens before having a “break” later on.
“I kept the sadness inside, I just dealt with it,” she said.
Campbell struggled with addiction for five years until she collapsed on set in 1999 and checked herself into rehab.
“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.”
Now, as a 53-year-old mother of two, Campbell considers the rehab stint as “one of the best” decisions she made for herself during the challenging time.
“It’s taken me many years to work on and deal with,” Campbell shared. “And it does still come up sometimes. But I just now have the tools how to deal with it now when it comes up.”
“The Super Models” shares the success stories of Campbell and fellow modeling legends Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, and Linda Evangelista. The ladies sat down for the cameras to relive their respective rises in the modeling world.
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Source: Black Enterprise