January 5, 2006

Police want model Moss in UK for cocaine questioning

LONDON (Reuters) - Police have urged supermodel Kate Moss
to return to Britain to answer questions after a newspaper
showed pictures of her apparently snorting cocaine last year.

The grainy images in the Daily Mirror tabloid prompted
several fashion houses to sever ties with the 31-year-old,
although her career has begun to recover since she left a drug
rehabilitation clinic in the United States in October.

"We would like to appeal for her to return, see us, and
tell us her side of the story," said London police Assistant
Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur.

"For everybody's sake, and for her to move on, the sooner
she speaks to us the better," he said in a statement on
Thursday, adding that the mother-of-one would be dealt with
"fairly and proportionately as would be the case with anybody

He said the net was closing in on other suspects in the
case and that arrests were likely. A police spokeswoman added
that none had been made so far.

Police do not intend to seek Moss' extradition from the
United States, where media reports say she is planning to
settle permanently with her three-year-old daughter Lila Grace.

"What we have done so far is conducted searches of the
studios where the matter was filmed, in addition to obtaining
the full digital recording of the incident which is currently
being closely studied by the investigative team," Ghaffur

The pictures were taken in a London studio where Moss' then
boyfriend, rock singer and self-confessed drug addict Pete
Doherty, was recording. British newspapers have reported the
couple has now split up.


The scandal in September prompted British fashion house
Burberry and Swedish-based Hennes and Mauritz to cut ties with
one of the most famous faces in fashion. France's Chanel also
said they would not renew a contract with Moss when it expired.

Some fashion insiders criticized the labels, arguing that
the use of illegal drugs like cocaine was already known to be
widespread in the industry.

British police have made a point of targeting not only
street dealers and users, but also what it calls "middle class
and upper class drug users."

Moss, whose gaunt features ushered in the "heroin chic"
fashion style of the 1990s, never confirmed cocaine allegations
made against her, but issued a short statement after the
scandal broke, apologizing to people she said she had let down.

Her London lawyers and modeling agency could not
immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.