Naomi Campbell’s new perfume deal doesn’t pass the smell test, a cosmetics-marketing company said in a lawsuit accusing the supermodel of cutting longtime associates out of their share of profits from her lucrative fragrance lines.
The lawsuit, filed late Monday, said Campbell violated a 1998 contract with Moodform Mission by inking a new fragrance-licensing agreement, costing the company a portion of the proceeds from such scents as Naomi Campbell, Cat Deluxe and Seductive Elixir.
Campbell, whose feisty temper has landed her in a series of legal tussles in recent years, denied the claims in a statement issued through a spokesman.
“She is confident that the judge and the jury in this case will fully vindicate her,” the statement said.
Moodform Mission is a partnership of Campbell’s former London modeling agents and a cosmetics outfit based in Miami Beach, Fla. The firm worked for years — even designing the perfume bottles — to line up a 1998 fragrance deal for Campbell with a German company that later became part of Procter & Gamble Co., said Moodform Mission lawyer Daniel R. Bright.
A representative for Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble, which sells the fragrances but isn’t named in the lawsuit, didn’t immediately return a call Tuesday.
The agreement called for regular payments to Moodform Mission once the scents went on the market in 2001, netting Campbell millions of dollars over the years, according to the lawsuit. Bright wouldn’t disclose how much the firm made, citing a confidentiality agreement.
The payouts abruptly stopped last year, and Campbell struck a deal in late 2008 or early 2009 directly with an affiliate of the German company, according to the lawsuit.
That arrangement is “a fraudulent scheme arranged by (Campbell) for the purpose of avoiding her obligation to pay Moodform Mission,” the lawsuit said.
The breach-of-contract lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, seeks unspecified damages. According to the lawsuit, the contract stipulated that New York would be the venue for any disputes.
Campbell, 39, has faced a series of lawsuits and criminal cases accusing her of attacking her household employees — and two police officers at London’s Heathrow Airport.
She pleaded guilty in the Heathrow case in June 2008 after prosecutors said she cursed, kicked and spat at police in a rage over a missing piece of luggage; she was sentenced to 200 hours of community service.
She also did a week of community service sweeping floors and scrubbing toilets in a Manhattan garbage-truck garage in 2007 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault for hurling a cell phone at her maid because of a vanished pair of jeans. In 2000, Campbell pleaded guilty in Toronto to an assault charge for beating an assistant who said the model whacked her on the head with a phone.
A few of Campbell’s former aides and maids have sued her, accusing her of violent outbursts; some cases have been settled on undisclosed terms.
Campbell, of Britain, became one of the world’s highest-paid models after being discovered at age 15.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.