Lives Cut Short

  • 23 Jun - 29 Jun, 2018
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Last few weeks had an eerie air of sadness that came with the suicide of two high-profile celebrities, Kate Spade – a fashion designer who built an empire selling statement handbags, and Anthony Bourdain – the renowned celebrity chef, globetrotter and storyteller.

Here are some of the many prominent celebrities who embraced death with their own will for the reasons that have been buried with them and unknown to the world. One thing they all have in common is the cause of death; suicide by hanging.

Alexander McQueen

Date of death: February 11, 2010
Place of death: Mayfair, London
Age: 40 years

Lee Alexander McQueen, a British fashion designer and couturier, killed himself a week after his mother died by ingesting a cocktail of prescription meds and cocaine and then hanging himself.

McQueen had a modest start as a designer and successfully managed to climb to the top of his profession.

He rose to fame when he started working for Givenchy as chief designer in 1996. After bidding farewell to the fashion house on a happy note in 2001, he went on to become a fashion brand after founding his own Alexander McQueen label. He was honoured with British Designer of the Year awards in the years 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003 and CFDA International Designer of the Year award in 2003.

McQueen’s body was found by his housekeeper in his home in Green Street, London along with a note that said, "Look after my dogs, sorry, I love you, Lee.”


Date of death: August 11, 2014
Place of death: Tiburon, California
Age: 63 years

Depression seems to be the root cause of most celebrity deaths and comedian Robin Williams was not an exception who hanged himself to take his life, as per his colleague and friends.

As the shocking news of his demise was met with incomprehension around the world, his widow Susan set the record straight saying, “It was not depression that killed Robin. Depression was one of let’s call it 50 symptoms, and it was a small one.”

Instead, she argued that it was a debilitating brain disease called diffuse Lewy body dementia that took hold of Williams, and probably led him to suicide.


Date of death: June 8, 2018
Place of death: Strasbourg, France
Age: 61 years

The news of the untimely demise of Bourdain, a gifted chef and storyteller, took television screens by storm leaving the viewers shaken. The most common sentiment: "I feel like I've lost a friend,” such was the love he gained during his career, which included many years spent as executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan.

The graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Bourdain was considered as one of the most influential chefs in the world and rose to fame through the award winning Parts Unknown series for CNN.

He was found dead in a hotel room in Strasbourg, France as he managed to hang himself while he was filming an upcoming episode of his popular CNN show, Parts Unknown.


Date of death: August 14, 2014
Place of death: University Hospital, New Orleans
Age: 29 years

A model and a dance instructor who shot to fame with her appearance on The Bachelor and Bachelor Pad, Gia Allemand hanged herself from the stairwell of her home using a vacuum cleaner cord.

As per the details, Allemand got into a heated argument with her boyfriend, Ryan Anderson, 26, over the suspicions that Ryan, an NBA player, was being unfaithful to her for other girls.


Date of death: March 17, 2014
Place of death: Manhattan, New York
Age: 49 years

The fashion designer and girlfriend of Rolling Stones’ frontman, Mick Jagger, Laura ‘Luann’ Bambrough, known professionally as L'Wren Scott, was an American stylist and fashion designer. After starting her career as a model in Paris, she moved to California and became a stylist for Madonna and Julia Roberts.

Fashion critic Cathy Horyn claimed Scott was demoralised by the difficulties besetting her business and had been planning to close it down. But Scott's spokesperson denied the claim who said that at the time of her death "the long-term prospects for the business were encouraging", in part due to the designer's expanding portfolio of brand partnerships, with Banana Republic and cosmetics firm Bobbi Brown, among others.

Scott was found dead by her assistant at her apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan on March 17, 2014. There was no note found and no sign of foul play with cause of death being suicide by hanging with scarf.


Date of death: June 5, 2018
Place of death: Park Avenue, Manhattan
Age: 55 years

Kate Spade was married and had a 13-year-old daughter Frances Spade, whom she had left a note stating, “Bea – I have always loved you. This is not your fault. Ask Daddy!”

As per the statement released by her husband, Andy Spade, Kate had ‘suffered from depression and anxiety for many years.’ The statement also indicated the couple had been living separately for 10 months.

Though very successful as a fashion designer, Spade could not bear the mounting depression that sky-rocketing success, money and fame bring along and committed suicide by hanging herself in her Park Avenue apartment. Her body was recovered from her bedroom by a cleaner.