October 4, 2005

Sharon Stone defends Moss after cocaine scandal

By Kerstin Gehmlich

PARIS (Reuters) - Actress Sharon Stone defended Kate Moss
on Tuesday and implicitly criticized companies who were parting
with the British supermodel after a newspaper alleged Moss had
snorted cocaine.

The cocaine scandal has prompted two fashion houses --
Britain's Burberry and Swedish-based Hennes and Mauritz -- to
sever ties with Moss.

France's Chanel said it would not renew her contract when
it expired this month, but did not comment on whether the
decision was linked to the cocaine scandal.

"I'd like to say as for Kate Moss, I understand that she
has apologized and is changing her life. And I think that that
is the most important thing that's happened," Stone, the star
of sultry thriller "Basic Instinct," said in Paris.

"I think that we have to be aware that people are allowed
to make mistakes in their life," she told a news conference at
which she was being presented as the new face to promote
Christian Dior's Capture Totale anti-ageing line.

Stone implicitly criticized the fashion houses who had
parted with Moss, after Britain's Mirror tabloid featured
grainy pictures that apparently showed the 31-year-old model
taking large quantities of cocaine.

"Whether or not a house stands with her or not through it
says more about the house than it does about her," Stone said.

"Because someone who doesn't allow someone to fail and
change and grow -- it doesn't say very much about them, in my

The actress, 47, who made headlines earlier this year for
raising $1 million in five minutes from business tycoons at the
Davos World Economic Forum for African children, earned loud
applause for her comments.

"If you are in here and haven't made a mistake, I'd like to
meet you because I've been waiting for Jesus -- and today would
be the day," Stone said to loud laughter.

Moss, whose annual earnings from modeling are estimated to
be in excess of 4 million pounds, apologized last month to
friends, family and business associates for her behavior.

"I take full responsibility for my actions," Moss said in a
statement. "I also accept that there are various personal
issues that I need to address and have started taking the
difficult, yet necessary, steps to resolve them."

Moss, who has a three-year-old daughter, was discovered by
a modeling agency as a 14-year-old schoolgirl, and has graced
the covers of countless magazines.