Annabelle Neilson — model, reality star, children’s author and British aristocrat — was unexpectedly found dead in her home in London on July 12, 2018. A spokesperson from the Westminster Coroner’s Court confirmed to Radar Online that Neilson’s cause of death was a stroke. She was a close friend of Kate Moss and the late Alexander McQueen. Her life was marked by both tragedy and triumph.

Neilson struggled with severe dyslexia as a child and drew inspiration from this for her children’s book series, The Me Me Me’s. In an interview with The Daily Mail in 2015, Neilson opened up about her teenage struggles with depression and drug addiction. At 16 years old, Neilson was on a family trip in Perth, Austrailia when she was brutally attacked. Her facial injuries were so severe that she needed to undergo reconstructive surgery. After these traumatic events, Neilson fell into a depression and developed an addiction to heroin. Eventually, Neilson was able to remain sober and she began a modeling career when she was 22.

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It was in London’s modeling scene in the 1990s that Neilson befriended Moss who introduced her to McQueen. She became McQueen’s muse and close friend and remained so until his suicide in 2010. Neilson told The Daily Mail that McQueen’s death devastated her and that she was the last person to see him alive.

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In 2013, Neilson, an avid horse racer, was thrown from her horse during training and sustained severe injuries to her back and pelvis. While she regained her ability to walk after 12 weeks, she would never ride again. During her recovery, Neilson appeared on Bravo’s reality TV series, Ladies of London, for two seasons. It was on Ladies of London where Neilson introduced herself as a children’s author.

Neilson’s friends and family were all shocked by her death as she had appeared happy and healthy a week before. An outpouring of love for Neilson from friends and fans alike has flooded the late celebrity’s Instagram page.

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