Naomi Campbell has admitted being given ‘blood diamonds’ by former Liberian ruler Charles Taylor as she testifies at his war crimes trial.

Campbell initially denied being given the diamonds, saying she feared for her safety. However, actress Mia Farrow claimed that Taylor gave the model an uncut diamond after a dinner party hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1997.

Taylor is in court on charges of war crimes and prosecutors say that he received diamonds from Sierra Leone rebels in exchange for weapons during the country’s bloody 1992-2002 civil war. The diamond given to Naomi Campbell is to be used as evidence.

Farrow, who will give evidence next week, said that Campbell had told her about the diamond over breakfast the next day.

“She told us she had been awakened in the night by knocking at her door. She opened the door to find two or three men – I do not recall how many – who presented her with a large diamond which they said was from Charles Taylor,” said Farrow.

Earlier in the year, Campbell claimed she “never received a diamond”. In May, she appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show saying that she did not want to be involved in Taylor’s case and feared for her safety if she were.

However, Campbell has now backtracked on her story about the blood diamond, saying in court: “I had never heard of Charles Taylor before. I had never heard of the country Liberia before. I had never the term blood diamonds before.

“I did not want to be here. I was made to be here. I had never heard the term blood diamonds before.”

“This is someone who, I read on the internet, has killed thousands of people. I don’t want my family endangered in any way.”

Campbell recounted how she was given the diamond when two men knocked at her door late at night.

“They said ‘a gift for you’ and then gave me a pouch. They were two black men.

“I took it, said thank you and closed the door. There was no explanation, no note.

“When they gave me the pouch I just put it close to my bed and went back to bed.

“I opened the pouch the next morning when I woke up.

“I saw a few stones. They were very small, dirty looking stones.”

Campbell told the court she had wanted the diamonds to be donated to charity and had asked an assistant to do so, however, she added: “He still has them so they didn’t benefit.”