Supermodel Campbell released after incident on BA flight

LONDON, April 4, 2008 (AFP) - British supermodel Naomi Campbell was released on bail early Friday April 4st after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer at London's Heathrow airport, officials and her spokeswoman said.

The incident happened after she boarded a plane Thursday April 1st at the airport's new Terminal 5 -- which is struggling to get on track after its trouble-hit opening last week -- only to be told one of her bags was missing.

"We can confirm that a passenger was removed by police from a BA flight," an airport spokeswoman said, while a police spokeswoman said "a 37-year-old woman has been released on bail to return on a date in late May pending further inquiries."

The 37-year-old Londoner, who is known for her quick temper, was aggressive and abusive to staff, passengers alleged. Witnesses said she was handcuffed on board the aircraft, which had not taken off.

A police source cited by the Sun daily said: "She was going nuts, spitting, punching, and lashing out. BA staff were genuinely concerned about her well-being."

"But they had no alternative but to call police when she refused to calm down," he said.

After being taken to a police station at the airport, the supermodel left Heathrow shortly after midnight.

Campbell's spokeswoman blamed the incident on the chaos that has engulfed the new terminal since its disastrous opening.

"Naomi was flying to Los Angeles for a memorial service on Thursday, April 3. She arrived at Heathrow Terminal 5 in plenty of time, checked her two bags in and was told they would make the flight.

"Once on the plane she was told one bag could not be found and was missing.

"BA decided to resolve this by insisting she leave the flight and then called the police to forcibly eject her from the flight.

"She was taken to the Heathrow police station and released on police bail.

"So far as we are aware BA have still failed to offer any explanation as to why her bag went missing at Terminal 5."

Terminal 5, which was inaugurated amid much fanfare last month, descended into chaos within hours of opening, with hundreds of flights cancelled and thousands of suitcases and bags going astray.

Last year Campbell was ordered to spend a week mopping floors at a New York City warehouse for hitting her maid with a mobile phone.

She was sentenced in January 2007 after pleading guilty to reckless assault, and also ordered to attend a two-day anger management course and pay more than 350 dollars to cover her victim's medical expenses.

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