Naomi Campbell defends ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell has defended her links to 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, more than 10 years after he was convicted for procuring an underage girl for prostitution.

After it emerged she had met the sex offender at her 31st birthday party, Campbell issued a YouTube video to defend herself against any accusations of wrongdoing.

In the video she released on Wednesday, the 49-year-old British supermodel answered a series of questions asked by an off-camera reporter about her ties to Epstein.

"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 Orwell book," she fired, referencing author George Orwell's dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

"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," Campbell explained.

Epstein was accused of having underage girls as sex slaves and was facing more than 45 years in prison at the time of his death, and Naomi has insisted she was "sickened" by the allegations.

"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, denying knowledge of his crimes.

"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."

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