Tyra Banks Recalls ‘Very Painful’ Experience Working With Naomi Campbell Early In Her Modeling Career

Tyra Banks attends the 2018 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on October 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California./Model Naomi Campbell walks the runway during the Valentino Spring Summer 2019 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 23, 2019 in Paris, France.
Kevork Djansezian/ Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell may not have any bad blood today, but Banks recalls not having the best time working with her in the early ’90s.

The America’s Next Top Model creator sat down with the Wall Street Journal and was asked about the rumors that Banks and Campbell have been in a rivalry since Banks came onto the modeling scene. According to People, Banks said during the interview that she doesn’t consider the instances she had with Campbell to be a rivalry.

“It wasn’t a rivalry,” Banks said. “And I’m very sensitive to that word because a rivalry is with two equals to me, where one was very dominant. She was a supermodel and I was just some new girl that got on a plane from Paris and was studying fashion in magazines at a fashion library.”

Banks also described her time in Paris “very painful” as she worked with Campbell on multiple shoots and runway shows during that time. She said that while she was frequently booking shows, she said she was “going home and crying at night,” due to Campbell’s alleged antics.

“A woman I was looking up to seemed like she just didn’t want me to be there,” Banks said. “And was doing everything in her power to make me go away.”

The Life-Size actress said that while she felt Campbell was exceptionally cruel to her, she doesn’t blame her for the way she was treated. Banks claims that Campbell was simply reacting to a notion that there was “another black girl that’s going to take your spot.”

The recent Sports Illustrated cover girl also pointed out that models like Kate Moss and Lisa Evangelista weren’t being pitted against their white successors as the media had done to her and Campbell. She also revealed that while she knows the comparison wasn’t fair to Campbell, Banks is still afraid of Campbell today.

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The alleged rivalry between Banks and Campbell spanned for decades during both of the models’ careers. In 2005, Banks asked Campbell to be her guest on her daytime talk show, The Tyra Banks Show. During the interview, the two women were able to discuss the rivalry and how Banks was affected by Campbell’s actions. According to Yahoo! News, Campbell apologized for her actions towards Banks back then. Since the interview, the two have reportedly worked together and have walked in various Victoria’s Secret shows in the past.

Campbell has yet to address Banks’ interview publicly.