British supermodel Lily Cole said she is refusing to work for De Beers again over claims that African Bushmen were evicted to make way for future diamond mining in Botswana.
“I was unaware of these matters when I was booked for the shoot,” Cole said in a press release from Survival International. The human rights group said her statement came after the group lobbied her on behalf of their cause.
“I am delighted that Lily has heeded our advice and understands the human suffering that diamonds are causing the Bushmen,” said Stephen Corry, director of Survival International. “I now urge other models not to work for De Beers. De Beers must realize that the only way out of this is for the Bushmen to be given back their land.”
Lily Cole is not the first model to quit working for De Beers. Supermodel Iman quit as the face of De Beers after meeting with Survival International. British supermodel Erin O’Connor also distanced herself from De Beers, according to the organization.
While Survival International seems to consider Cole’s announcement a victory for its cause, De Beers said previously that most companies don’t use celebrities for long periods of time, according to published reports.