January 31, 2006

Model Kate Moss questioned in UK over cocaine use

LONDON -- Supermodel Kate Moss was questioned by British police on Tuesday over allegations she took cocaine in a London recording studio last year.

The 32-year-old left the country shortly after the Daily Mirror tabloid published photographs in September of her apparently snorting large quantities of cocaine.

Since then she has been in the United States, where she attended a drug rehabilitation clinic, and in France.

"A 32-year-old woman has voluntarily attended a London police office today in relation to a (police) investigation into allegations of possible drug abuse, as reported in newspaper reports," the police said in a statement.

It added that she had not been arrested.

Moss, wearing dark glasses and a cream-coloured coat, was surrounded by paparazzi as she was later whisked away in a silver Mercedes from the rear of Wellington House police station in central London.

She made no comment, and neither her agent nor lawyer returned calls.

Earlier this month, British police investigating a drugs ring urged Moss, who has a three-year-old daughter, to return to Britain and answer questions.

September's scandal prompted British fashion house Burberry and Swedish-based Hennes and Mauritz to cut ties with Moss, 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 criticised the labels, arguing that the use of illegal drugs like cocaine was already known to be widespread in the industry.

Moss' career appears to have recovered swiftly since, with new contracts and front page appearances for French fashion bible Vogue and U.S. celebrity magazine Vanity Fair.

She has never confessed to taking illegal drugs, although she issued a statement last year apologising to friends and family for behavior which "reflected badly" on them.

Moss has been a British tabloid favorite over the last year, partly because of her on-off relationship with troubled British rocker Pete Doherty, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to possessing heroin and cocaine.

One of the best-known faces in fashion, Moss was discovered by a modeling agency as a 14-year-old schoolgirl.