Claudia Schiffer (German pronunciation: [ˈklaʊ̯dɪa ˈʃɪfɐ]; born 25 August 1970) is a German model and creative director of her own clothing label. Schiffer rose to popularity and became a household name during the early 1990s as one of the world’s most successful models. In her early career, she was said to resemble Brigitte Bardot. She appeared on more than 1000 magazine covers and continues to front global campaigns for luxury fashion and fragrance houses. In 2002, Forbes estimated her net worth at about US$55 million (£38 million).
Schiffer was born in Rheinberg, Germany, a small town 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) northwest of Duisburg. She is the daughter of Gudrun and Heinz Schiffer, a lawyer. She has two brothers, Stefan and Andreas, and one sister, Ann Carolin.
Schiffer said she was popular in high school, but she has revealed that, because she was so tall, she became very shy and did not want to be noticed. She was also subjected to jealousy by others as she came from a wealthy family that was well-known locally. Schiffer is fluent in three languages – German, English and French.
She originally wanted to become a lawyer and used to work in her father’s law firm. She later dropped these aspirations when, in October 1987 at 17, she was spotted in a nightclub in Düsseldorf by Michel Levaton, the boss of Metropolitan Model Agency who signed her up to become a model.
Claudia began her involvement with UNICEF by becoming a member of the Arts & Entertainment Support Committee and is currently a UK Goodwill Ambassador for the organisation. Claudia was also a spokesman for Make Poverty History where she appeared in the powerful Click advertisement. In July 2005, she appeared as a presenter at both the Berlin and Edinburgh Live 8 concerts.
Early in her career, Schiffer was romantically linked to a number of celebrities including Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, Prince Albert of Monaco, and singer Peter Gabriel.
In 1993 at a Berlin celebrity gala Schiffer met magician David Copperfield when he brought her on stage to participate in a mind reading act and in his flying illusion, and in January 1994 they became engaged. During this engagement, Schiffer sometimes appeared on stage with Copperfield to act as his special guest assistant in illusions including being levitated, guillotined and sawn in half.  She also appeared alongside Copperfield in David Copperfield: 15 Years of Magic (1994), a documentary in which she played the role of a reporter interviewing him, and at the end of which they reprised their performance of the “Flying” illusion. After a nearly six-year engagement, in September 1999 they announced their separation citing work schedules. In 1997 Copperfield and Schiffer both sued Paris Match after the magazine claimed their relationship was a sham, that Schiffer was paid for pretending to be Copperfield’s girlfriend and that she didn’t even like him. In 1999 Schiffer won an undisclosed sum and a retraction from Paris Match when a French court ruled that the magazine’s story was false. Copperfield’s publicist confirmed that while Schiffer had a contract to appear in the audience at Copperfield’s show in Berlin where they met, she was not under contract to be his “consort.”
Following her break-up with Copperfield, she had a short relationship with art dealer and Green Shield Stamp heir Tim Jefferies until 2000.
On 25 May 2002 she married the film director Matthew Vaughn in Suffolk. Schiffer and Vaughn have three children: son Caspar Matthew (born 30 January 2003, Westminster, London) and daughters Clementine Poppy (born 11 November 2004, Westminster) and Cosima Violet (born 14 May 2010).
Schiffer had two significant problems with harassment in the past. In 2002 an Italian kitchen porter was arrested after making 9 visits to Schiffer’s £5 million Coldham Hall mansion near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, attempting to see her. Charges against him were dropped however, as he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He believed that the Pope had told him to marry Schiffer.
In 2004 a Canadian man was accused of harassing Schiffer, also at her mansion in Suffolk. He called at her mansion in the hope of seeing her. He also repeatedly left letters at her home.
In 2006 Schiffer and her husband were twice spoken to by policemen from the local Suffolk force after a number of incidents involving their two dogs, an Irish wolfhound and a German shepherd, and local people using the public footpath across the grounds of their Coldham Hall home. These included severely mauling a Jack Russell being walked on the footpath, chasing deer on the estate, intimidating people using the footpath, and biting one of the local postmen.
In May 2014 up to 50 firefighters were reported to have responded to a fire at the home. A number of outbuildings and stables, including a clock tower, were damaged in the fire, which took crews more than two hours to extinguish. Eight fire crews managed to prevent the flames from spreading to the Grade I-listed hall.
|1994||Richie Rich||Herself as an aerobics instructor|
|1994||Prêt-à-Porter||Herself||American title Ready to Wear|
|1996||Perfectly Fit||none||Fitness program by Claudia Schiffer|
|1999||Desperate But Not Serious||Gigi||USA DVD release titled Reckless + Wild|
|1999||Friends & Lovers||Carla|
|1999||Black and White||Greta|
|2000||Chain Of Fools||Herself|
|2001||In Pursuit||Catherine Wells||USA DVD release titled Rules of the Game|
|2002||666 – Traue keinem, mit dem Du schläfst!||Herself||English title 666: In Bed with the Devil|
|2002||Life Without Dick||Mary|
Appearances in documentaries
|1993||Noche de tu vida, La|
|1994||David Copperfield: 15 Years of Magic|
|1995||Die schönsten Frauen der Welt – Claudia Schiffer|
|1995||Around Claudia Schiffer|
|1996||68th Annual Academy Awards|
|1997||Happy Birthday Elizabeth: A Celebration of Life|
|1997||An Audience with Elton John|
|1997||1997 VH1 Fashion Awards|
|2000||The Sound of Claudia Schiffer|
18 Jun 1992, Paris, France — Top Model Claudia Schiffer — Image by © Richard Melloul/Sygma/CORBIS