R.I.P. Celebrities Who Hanged Themselves
Yesterday, the Fashion and music world was simultaneously struck when news of designer L’Wren Scott’s passing came to light. The 49-year-old girlfriend of Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger took her life by hanging herself from a doorknob, proving that though women in her position may have fame and fortune, celebrities are not without their inner demons, either. Unfortunately, Miss Scott is just one Hollywood starlet who wasn’t able to overcome her trials and tribulations and committed suicide by hanging herself. We remember those members of the entertainment industry who departed the same way here.
By the time she was 12 years old, L’Wren Scott stood six feet tall. Encouraged to become a fashion model after high school, the long-legged beauty went on to work for Chanel before becoming a stylist in the early 90’s. After making a name for herself, Scott launched her own label in 2006 and has dressed a host of A-list celebrities including Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, and First Lady Michelle Obama. Scott, who was Mick Jagger’s girlfriend for over a decade, hung herself and was found by her assistant inside of her Chelsea apartment Monday, March 17.
Gia Allemand got a head start on her modeling career at an extremely early age and appeared in Johnson & Johnson and Gerber ads as a baby. Allemand got her first taste of fame as an adult when she was cast as a contestant on ABC’s “The Bachelor” in early 2010 and was runner up to win pilot Jake Pavelka’s love. The native New Yorker joined the cast of the spin-off show “Bachelor Pad” that same year. Three years later Allemand, who was dating NBA player Ryan Anderson, was admitted to the hospital after attempting suicide by hanging. Declared brain dead, she was removed from life support two days later.
Fashion designer Alexander McQueen made a name for himself as the chief designer over at Givenchy before starting his own label. Credited for bringing drama and extravagance to the catwalk, McQueen would often shock and surprise the audience. One of the first designers to use Indian models in London, the fashion world was in mourning when the news spread of McQueen’s untimely death in 2010. His housekeeper found him hanging inside of his $40 million London home.
He started out as a stand-up comedian and hit it big when he was named as the successor to Richard Dawson on “Family Feud.” Ray Combs began hosting the game show in 1988 but six years later, CBS gave him the boot. Although he got another gig hosting “Family Challenge,” that didn’t last long and soon Combs was faced with marital and financial problems. Things got worse when he survived a near-fatal car accident and his mental and physical health deteriorated. Admitted into the psychiatric ward of a medical center, Combs hung himself in a closet in 1996 at the age of 40.
Australian musician Michael Hutchence lived the life of a rock star on and off of the stage. As the frontman for the rock group INXS, Hutchence commanded the stage with his long, flowing hair and animated moves. He was also known for dating numerous models, singers and actresses throughout his career. INXS saw a decline in their popularity and it was during the final leg of their 20th anniversary tour that Hutchence hung himself and was found dead inside of his room at the Ritz-Carlton in Sydney, Australia.
English actress Lucy Gordon started off as a model and was the face of CoverGirl before switching careers. Making her film debut in 2001, Gordon starred in Four Feathers alongside Heath Ledger the following year. After a small role in Spider-Man 3, the British starlet played actress and singer Jane Birkin in Serge Gainsbourg’s biopic but Gordon committed suicide by hanging before the film debuted at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. She was 28 years old.
Canadian wrestler Chris Benoit worked for promotion companies Extreme Championship Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling but reached new heights of fame and fortune with WWF turned WWE. The five-time champion won 2004’s Royal Rumble, making him the second wrestler ever to win the match as a number one entrant. In 2007, something inside Benoit snapped, causing him to kill his wife and seven-year-old son before hanging himself.
While most children his age were learning to read, Jonathan Brandis was busy learning his lines. Cast as Kevin Buchanan on ABC’s soap opera “One Live To Live” at just six years old, Brandis moved to L.A. with his family to continue on with his acting career, landing small parts on “The Wonder Years,” “Full House,” “Kate & Aliie” and more. When he was 17, Brandis landed the role of a scientist on Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi series “seaQuest DVS,” which helped him become a teen idol. However, his career took a nosedive and at the age of 27 took his own life by hanging himself.
Venezuelan boxer Edwin Valero turned pro with an amazing amateur record of 57 knockouts. Picking up right where he left off, Valero set a new world record by winning his first 18 professional matches with a knockout in the first round. However, he soon became known for using his fists outside of the ring. His wife Carolina was hospitalized three separate times after her husband allegedly beat her down. In 2010, Valero was arrested after his wife’s body was found inside of a hotel room. He was found the next day in his cell dead from suicide by hanging.
Taylor Armstrong was one of the original cast members on the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” but despite the picture perfect image she tried to portray, soon audiences realized the cracks in the façade of her home life. Tired of the physical abuse, in 2011 she filed for a divorce from her husband of six years Russell. Shortly afterwards, Russell took his own life. He was found dead after hanging himself in his new apartment by his estranged wife Taylor and the landlord.
Jiah Khan followed in her mother, Rabiya Amin’s, famous footsteps into acting. Born in New York City, Khan grew up in London before moving to Mumbai to pursue a career in Bollywood. Making her film debut in 2007, Khan was also a talented dancer, having studied belly dancing, samba, lambada and other dance forms. In 2013, Khan committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her family’s home. Three days later, her sister found a suicide note.
Charlotte Dawson was born and raised in New Zealand but she relocated to Europe then New York City at the age of 16 to pursue a career in modeling. A decade later, Dawson settled down in Australia and became a regular in the country’s fashion scene. In 2008, the long-legged beauty became a judge on “Australia’s Next Top Model.” Several years later, Dawson joined her fellow Aussie stars for season two of “Celebrity Apprentice Australia” but that same year she tried to take her life. Two years later, a depressed Dawson would try again but this time she was successful. Last month, the 47-year-old was found dead hanging in her apartment.
Gary Speed was a decorated soccer player who continued working in the sport after he retired by becoming a manager. However, the demanding position put a strain on his relationship with wife Louise. In late November 2011, Speed sent a text message to his wife suggesting he might commit suicide but he quickly dismissed the thought in a subsequent text. However, days later he would follow through. After attending a dinner party close to their home, Speed and his wife got into an argument. The next morning she found her husband and father of their two teenage sons hanging in the garage.
Mary Richardson Kennedy
She married into U.S. royalty by wedding Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in 1994. After four children, the couple split in 2010. Since their separation, Mary seemed to have a tough time battling her demons. Police were called to Robert’s home to respond to a domestic incident where he insisted his estranged wife was so intoxicated and irrational, he had to take the children on an outing just to get away from her. Days later she was arrested for a DWI. In May 2012, Mary hanged herself inside of her Bedford, NY home.