Annabelle Neilson, a former model, and Ladies of London star died on Thursday of a stroke. She was 49.
The party-loving ex-wife of millionaire banker Nat Rothschild, was a friend and confidante to fashion icon, Alexander McQueen, and super-model Kate Moss.
Police confirm an ambulance had been called to home in Chelsea, London on Thursday. According to the coroner’s report obtained by Radar Online, the cause of death was a stroke. Westminster Coroner Court spokesperson Susan Lord made the following statement:
“The cause of death was cerebrovascular accident.”
Born in 1969 into a wealthy British aristocratic family, Annabelle Neilson was severely dyslexic and, after being badly bullied, left school at 16. A vicious assault during a gap year visit to Perth, Australia, left her with injuries requiring reconstructive surgery, and she soon began struggling with drug addiction.
“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,” she said in an interview with The Daily Mail in 2015. “In a way, heroin saved me, because otherwise I would have killed myself.”
After battling heroin addiction as a teen, Neilson embarked on a modeling career, and at age 22 she was introduced to Mr. McQueen. As the designer’s star ascended both in and out of the fashion world, she became one of his muses and a close friend. She achieved minor notoriety during the period for her revealing outfits, including a totally sheer McQueen dress she wore to a party in 2000.
In 1994, Neilson eloped to Las Vegas with with Nathaniel Rothschild, son of the banker Jacob Rothschild. After three tumultuous years of marriage, the couple divorced and Ms. Neilson reportedly received a substantial settlement after signing a confidentiality agreement and reverting to her maiden name.
One of the last known photographs of Ms. Neilson was taken at the marriage 10 days ago of her former boyfriend, Edward Spencer Churchill, at Blenheim Palace.
Annabelle Neilson is survived by her parents, Max and Elizabeth Neilson, and her sister, Millie.