Naomi Campbell had her breakthrough in 1988 – when she became the first black woman to grace the cover of the fashion magazine “Vogue”. She was one of the celebrated supermodels of the 90s and 2000s. Together with colleagues Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington, she explores her career in the new documentary “The Supermodels” on Apple TV.

In addition to the glamorous modeling career, Campbell also experienced the dark side of the business. In the 1990s, she says she consumed so many drugs and alcohol that she says she “slowly killed herself.” The fashion icon sees the death of designer Gianni Versace as a main trigger for the loss of control of substance abuse at the time. On July 15, 1997, Versace was shot twice in the head on the steps of his Miami villa.

Campbell’s grief for the fashion designer was deep and reopened old wounds and traumas from her childhood. “Grief is a very strange thing in my life because I don’t always show it,” explains the mother of two in the documentary. “I go into shock and freak out when something actually happens, and later I collapse.” She then reveals a possible sticking point as to why she increasingly resorted to drug and alcohol abuse: “I kept the sadness to myself, I just came to terms with it.”

The loss of her friend and designer Versace reminded her of her lonely childhood. Campbell didn’t know her father; her mother worked a lot. In 2005, the British magazine “Mirror” wrote about the model that she found the loneliness of her childhood “mental abuse.” The fear of loss and loneliness that arose within her again after Versace’s death drove her into addiction, according to the model: “Addiction is something like that… it’s just a shitty thing, that’s what it really is. You think: ‘Oh, it will heal the wounds’. But it doesn’t. It can cause a lot of fear and anxiety.”

In 1999, Campbell reached the peak of her addiction. The British-born model collapsed during a photoshoot after five years of cocaine addiction. The frightening moment prompted her to go to rehab. “It was one of the best and only things I could do for myself at the time. It’s scary to pick up the mirror and look in the mirror. It took me many years to work on myself and come to terms with it “, said the 53-year-old.

Sources:  Daily Mail, RP Apple TV