Following the news that Ladies of London star Annabelle Neilson had died, fans and friends were shocked, wondering how the former model had died suddenly at 49. But now a coroner’s spokesperson has released a statement to say that Neilson had a heart attack.
RadarOnline quoted Susan Lord of the Westminster Coroner Court who shared that “the cause of death was cerebrovascular accident.”
Annabelle Neilson, who starred on the first two seasons of the Bravo show Ladies of London, was found dead in her home late Thursday night. In the days before her death, Neilson was said to be in a good mood, and she attended a family wedding, posting photos on her Instagram page.
In the last decade, Neilson suffered a major personal loss when her closest friend, designer Alexander McQueen committed suicide in 2010. The former model and muse for McQueen has been frank about her own struggles with depression and heroin addiction when she was a teen.
The Mirror says that Neilson has fought hard to overcome other demons from her childhood, including a brutal attack when she visited Australia at the age of 16. The former model was “tied to a tree and beaten for hours” by a man who then murdered three other women.
Neilson says she was disfigured but survived.
“I managed to escape with my life but I needed reconstructive surgery because my face was so disfigured. After that, I fell into a serious depression and became a heroin addict because it provided an escape bubble and was the only way I could cope. In a way, heroin saved me because otherwise I would have killed myself.”
But Neilson kept moving forward, launching her line of children’s books to aid children in expressing themselves. Annabelle had struggled as a child herself because of dyslexia.
“Angry Me is a character based on me in part as a child with severe dyslexia — but I think Angry Me evokes the frustrations and feelings for children when they can’t release such a powerful emotion as anger and it can be so many different things that a child can struggle with. Other characters have been based around friends, some family, some godchildren. You do look for inspiration amongst the people close to you.”
But just as she was publishing her books and going on tour at the end of the first season of Ladies of London, Neilson had a horseback riding accident while training for a charity event.
“I was lying on the hospital bed with a broken back and pelvis. I just said to myself, ‘You have to get up,’ so I did. The nerves down my right leg and hip were very badly damaged, but I got up, with help, and discharged myself. The pain was so bad, but I was scared that if I didn’t get up there and then I might never walk again.”
But Neilson once again showed she was a fighter and battled back for Season 2 of Ladies of London and returned to her book tour.