TELEVISION personality and model Charlotte Dawson has been found dead in her Sydney home.
Police confirmed they found Ms Dawson’s body at her waterfront Woolloomooloo unit this morning. They say the circumstances were not suspicious.
Ms Dawson, 47, a judge on the Foxtel reality TV series Australia’s Next Top Model, was an influential anti-bullying and health campaigner and was prominent on social media, sending her last tweet around 5pm yesterday in support of a friend on Twitter who had stomach cancer. It read: “We have the hospitals/resources & the doctors and professors willing to help. Where is the govt support?”.
The star, who was had been hospitalised at least twice after suicide attempts in recent years, had a public history of depression.
As the news of her death became public, friends and high-profile Australian identities mourned the loss.
Radio host Jackie O tweeted that she was “heartbroken to hear news that Charlotte Dawson has died. In shock right now. You will always have a special place in our hearts Charlotte.”
Television host David Campbell tweeted: “I am shocked and devastated at the news … just saw her yesterday. So tragic.”
Channel Nine reporter Tom Steinfort said: “Just shocking news. Charlotte was the most entertaining company you could have when she was at her best, generous and funny.”
TV presenter Laura Csortan said it was devastating news.
“Charlotte was a beautiful person and it’s a very sad loss. She had so much more to give,’’ she said.
Television producer Adam Boland, who has been open about having bipolar disorder, wrote: “Devastated to hear about the death of Charlotte Dawson. I didn’t know her well, but it was clear she battled the black dog.”
Ms Dawson gave an insight into her life — both her troubles and the highlights — in her autobiography, released late 2012.
In the book, Air Kiss and Tell, she revealed she had had an abortion with her former husband, Olympic swimmer Scott Miller, so that he would not have any distractions in the lead up to the Sydney Olympics.
She had been looking forward to having a baby but sensed “hesitation” in Miller.
”Everything Scott had done was leading up to this moment and nothing could stand in his way, so it was decided that we would terminate the child and try again later. Who needed a developing foetus when a gold medal was on offer, eh?”
Ms Dawson wrote that she was alone when she had the termination.
In he book she wrote that this was her first experience with depression — a battle she continued to fight for the next 14 years.
She was hospitalised in late 2012 after an extreme case of cyber-bullying on Twitter.
Two months later, accompanied by Channel Seven in Sydney, she travelled to Victoria to confront some of her worst online bullies. After speaking to her tormentors, Ms Dawson managed to forgive them and, afterwards, maintained a relationship with them.
She developed so many “friends” through social media, dozens and dozens of whom she had never met, but would always reach out to support when they were going through tough times.
Ms Dawson’s romantic life was tumultuous; in recent years she enjoyed the company of younger lovers but was still searching for someone to settle down with.
Ms Dawson often appeared on morning and breakfast television shows, last appearing on the Nine Network’s Morning Show yesterday.
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.