September 21, 2005

Kate Moss deals unravel, police probe drug claims

By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - British police will investigate
newspaper reports that supermodel Kate Moss took illegal drugs,
London's Scotland Yard said on Wednesday, as a second fashion
house parted ways with the 31-year-old over the scandal.

The police inquiry comes after the Daily Mirror newspaper
printed pictures of the London-born model that the British
tabloid said showed her snorting cocaine.

In another setback for one of the world's most famous
fashion figures, British retailer Burberry said it had ditched
plans to work with Moss this year due to the controversy.

Its announcement followed a decision on Tuesday by
Swedish-based fashion giant Hennes and Mauritz to cancel an
advertising campaign using Moss.

French fashion house Chanel said on Wednesday it would not
renew a contract with Moss that expires next month, but
declined to comment on whether this was linked to the drug

Police said any investigation would require more evidence
than newspaper photos before it could proceed.

"Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur has reviewed the
matter and had asked officers from the specialist crime
directive to look at reports as highlighted in a national
newspaper," a Scotland Yard spokeswoman said.

Moss's lawyer, Gerrard Tyrrell, was not immediately
available for comment on the police investigation. Moss has
previously denied taking hard drugs and has yet to comment on
the Mirror's claims.

Moss, who has a two-year-old daughter, won substantial
libel damages in July over claims by the Sunday Mirror that she
collapsed in a cocaine-fuelled coma in Barcelona in 2001.


H&M said it had made its decision to sever ties with Moss
after talking to her, saying she was regretful. It gave no
further details.

Burberry, which has no contract with Moss, also decided to
ditch the model.

"We had one project scheduled with Kate for this autumn and
in the circumstances both Kate and Burberry have mutually
agreed that it is inappropriate to go ahead," it said in a

"We are saddened by her current circumstances and hope she
overcomes her problems as soon as possible," Burberry added.

While not linking its decision to the scandal, Chanel's
announcement will add to Moss's woes as she seeks to limit the
fallout of a September 15 report.

Billed by the Mirror as an "undercover investigation," it
featured grainy images apparently of the catwalk queen taking

"We have a campaign with her until the end of October and
we don't have any other projects (with her) after this date," a
spokeswoman for Chanel perfumes said.

Moss has been the face of Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle
perfume since 2002.

She was discovered by a modeling agency as a 14-year-old
schoolgirl, and her waifish good looks have graced the covers
of countless magazines.

Tabloid interest in Moss intensified in recent months
because of her on-off relationship with British rocker Pete
Doherty, who has admitted to addiction to cocaine and heroin.

British media have reported that Moss earns about 4 million
pounds a year through commercial contracts.

-- Additional reporting by Mike Collett-White in London and
Kerstin Gehmlich in Paris