NEW YORK - Naomi Campbell pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault Tuesday for hitting her maid with a cell phone over a pair of missing jeans. Campbell, 36, hit Ana Scolavino in the back of the head with the phone in the supermodel's Manhattan apartment last March.
"I threw a cell phone in the apartment. The cell phone hit Ana," Campbell told Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Robert Mandelbaum. "This was an accident because I did not intend to hit her."
If convicted at trial, Campbell, who originally had been charged with second-degree felony assault, could have been sentenced to two to seven years in prison.
Campbell, 36, hit Ana Scolavino in the back of the head with the phone in the supermodel's Manhattan apartment last March. Scolavino was treated for a head injury.
In exchange for her guilty plea, Campbell must pay Scolavino's medical expenses of $363, do five days of community service and attend a two-day anger management program.
The British catwalker wore stiletto heels, a thin gold anklet on her right leg under sheer black hose, a formfitting black dress under a charcoal gray, waist-length jacket and several gold chains around her neck.
Outside the courthouse, her lawyer, David Breitbart, said he didn't want Campbell exposed to stalkers, so "I'm hopeful she can do the community service indoors."
Assistant District Attorney Shanda Strain indicated in court that she had no objection to Campbell working indoors.
Breitbart said Campbell will be working in fashion shows for the next several weeks in California, London, Paris, Milan, Italy, and Brazil, will have until May 21 to complete the community service condition in her sentence.
Some 100 members of the media covered her court appearance, but Campbell left the courthouse in a black Cadillac Escalade without speaking to them.
Campbell's publicist, Howard Bragman, called The Associated Press to issue a statement that he said the model was unable to give because of the media horde.
"I pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in court today. That's the best way I know to say I'm sorry to Ana. I accepted responsibility and I'm prepared to take my punishment. But I'm not going to let this incident define me. The past is the past. My future holds great things and I'm getting on with my life," the statement said.
Campbell was discovered at age 15 and began a career that landed her in magazines worldwide, including the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
The supermodel has a reputation for angry outbursts and abusive behavior with employees dating back almost 10 years. She pleaded guilty in Toronto to assault for hitting another assistant while making a film in Canada in 1998. Several of her former employees have filed lawsuits accusing her of assault.