jeremy.jpgThe man who accepted three uncut diamonds from supermodel Naomi Campbell and held them privately for years is stepping down as a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

 

Reports say Jeremy Ratcliffe will not run for reelection as a trustee at the end of this month.

 

The fund said he is also resigning immediately as a board member with its U.S. affiliate.

 

Ratcliffe came under international scrutiny in early August when Campbell testified at the trial of former Liberian President, Charles Taylor.

 

She was asked about reports that Taylor handed her uncut diamonds in 1997, a story that prosecutors hoped to use as evidence to prove Taylor used “blood diamonds” to fund a brutal civil war in Sierra Leone.

 

While Campbell said she did not know whether Taylor was the source of the diamonds, she testified she gave them the next day to Ratcliffe, a friend who at the time was the head of the children’s fund.

 

Ratcliffe said in a statement afterwards that he kept the diamonds to protect the reputations of both Campbell and the charity. He handed the diamonds over to South African police after Campbell’s testimony.