Celebrity photographer Matt Irwin, who was found dead in his apartment in May, had overdosed on liquid ecstasy due to depression, a court in East London has heard.
Irwin, 36, worked with a long list of celebrities, including One Direction, Rita Ora, Nicky Minaj, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Cara Delevingne, and Taylor Swift.
According to the Hackney Gazette, Irwin was found dead in his apartment in Hackney on May 5 by police officers. The door of his flat was reportedly found open.
Matt Irwin’s friends had called the cops to check on him because they were worried after failing to hear from him for a couple of days.
Coroner Jaqueline Devonish told the Poplar Coroner’s Court that Irwin was suffering from “brutal” depression. A post-mortem showed that the celebrity photographer had taken a large dosage of the party drug GHB (also known as liquid ecstasy), as well as an anesthetic.
According to Devonish, two documents were found on Irwin’s laptop: a suicide note and a will. In the suicide note, Devonish said Irwin expressed concerns that he was letting down people around him.
“He couldn’t get into an infinite growth model, and feeling you have always got to do bigger and better things. He said that it was totally unsuitable and that he was being swept away by it. He said it scared him he was not good at anything,” Devonish said.
Matt Irwin’s friend Samantha Teasdale told the court that he had been depressed after ending a relationship with his gay partner. Teasdale said Irwin changed after the breakup and started traveling and going to the gym.
“I think he did this to hide his depression,” she said.
While officials are now confirming that Irwin committed suicide, his family has since announced that he took his own life, the BBC reported.
“We are tremendously proud of Matt. He pursued his goals with passion, enthusiasm and warm-heartedness,” a statement released by Irwin’s family after his death said.
“We are devastated that he took his own life. Matt was extremely talented, but he was also kind and generous; an extraordinary, beautiful man who will be terribly missed by us, and by his many friends.”
After news surfaced that Irwin had committed suicide earlier this year, a host of celebrities took to social media to pay tribute to him. Niall Horan of One Direction, Lady Gaga, Nicky Minaj, Rita Ora, and Alexa Chung are among the celebrities who shared their memories of Irwin on social media after his death.
“Matt’s unprecedented access to a generation of musicians, models, and actors of our time leaves behind a visual chronicle that reveals – and pays testament to – his infectious passion, enthusiasm and talent. Matt’s passing leaves a huge gap in the fashion world and in the hearts of all those who had the privilege of knowing him,” a statement from Irwin’s photography agency Camilla Lowther Management (CLM) said after his death, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
According to the Evening Standard, Harry Styles of One Direction was among the people who attended Matt Irwin’s funeral.
Matt Irwin was born in Southport, England, on February 10, 1980. He started taking pictures after a friend gave him a Super 8mm film camera when he was 15 years old, according to a website dedicated to Irwin’s work. Irwin worked as an editor and in-house photographer for Dazed & Confused. He also worked with Vogue Russia, Vogue Japan, and American Glamour Magazine.
Matt Irwin is credited with helping to “usher in a bold new aesthetic and direction for Dazed, and then pop culture in the late ’00s,” Jefferson Hack, the founder of Dazed Media, said, according to the New York Times.
[Featured Image by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)