LONDON – British prosecutors said Thursday they would not charge model Kate Moss over allegations of cocaine use reported in a tabloid newspaper, despite what they said was strong evidence she was using illegal drugs.
The Daily Mirror published pictures in September of the supermodel apparently using cocaine in a west London music studio where her then-boyfriend, musician Pete Doherty, was recording with his group Babyshambles.
Police launched an investigation, and Moss was quizzed by detectives in London.
But on Thursday the Crown Prosecution Service said there was "insufficient evidence" to lay charges.
The service's London director of serious casework, Rene Barclay, said there was an "absolutely clear indication" that Moss was using an illegal substance.
"However, in the absence of any forensic evidence, or direct eyewitness evidence about the substance in question, its precise nature could not be established," he said.
"Ms. Moss declined to provide any explanation when interviewed, and the direct eyewitnesses also declined to provide evidence," he added.
A spokeswoman for Moss declined to comment on the announcement.
After apologizing to "all the people I have let down" and visiting a rehab clinic in Arizona she resumed her international career, signing new contracts with Calvin Klein, cell-phone brand Virgin Mobile and French luxury label Longchamp and appearing on several magazine covers.
The sniff of scandal may only have augmented a career built on mixing Moss' radiant beauty with her bad-girl image.
Discovered by Sarah Doukas, founder of the Storm model agency, at New York's John F. Kennedy airport when she was 14, Moss rose to fame in the 1990s, when her gaunt look prompted criticism that the fashion industry was glorifying "heroin chic."
Dogged by stories of wild partying and drug use, she nonetheless became one of the industry's most bankable stars.
French Vogue summed up her allure in a December issue dedicated to Moss. Its cover tag line: "Scandalous Beauty."