Australian television personality Charlotte Dawson, aged 47, was found dead in her Sydney apartment today. Her body was discovered by a real estate agent who arrived to inspect the property before auction. Foul play has been ruled out and suicide has been confirmed as the cause of death.
Dawson is best known for her numerous television appearances as a host in shows such Getaway, The Contender Australia and Australia’s Next Top Model. She had been a prominent face in the fashion industry from an early age as at age 16 she moved to Europe to become a model. Shortly after becoming a fashion editor for Nine Network’s Today program she began analyzing and reporting local and international fashion trends and events. Her work was continuously featured in magazines such as Vogue, Elle, She, Dolly, etc.
Her success however did not come without suffering. She had a long history of depression and also attempted to commit suicide in 2012. All of this was caused by her being a victim of consistence cyber bullying by internet trolls. It was part of an online campaign to specifically target Dawson for her involvement with the anti-cyber-bullying project called Community Brave. Many in the media believed that there was a possible link between her involvement with the project and her being a victim of cyber-bullying.
Dawson was known for her harsh behavior with Australia’s Next Top Model contestants and for constantly discouraging them. For some her project seemed like a double standard and hence she become a target of internet scrutiny. It could be that this is what prompted Dawson to take her own life. Persistent bullying could have very well been the reason behind 47-year-old Charlotte Dawson’s death.
Even before her death many knew that she was in a bad place. Those who knew Dawson personally were well aware of what she was going through. A close friends who asked not to be named said that Dawson was in a terrible emotional shape. When Dawson failed to show up for lunch a few days ago her friend felt something was amiss. It became clear that something was wrong when she did not post anything on her twitter account for more than a day.
Fans and celebrities alike expressed great sorrow regarding the news. Russell Crowe who had known Dawson since they were both teenagers broke down into tears when informed about the tragedy. Crowe later tweeted saying that there were not kind souls as it is ending the tweet with rest in peace. Even New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said that he was saddened and also shocked to hear about Dawson’s death. Australian fashion designer Alex Perry expressed his feelings by stating that the world has lost yet another shining, beautiful and bright girl.
It is believed that apart from cyber-bullying Dawson was also struggling financially and emotionally. She had borrowed around $80,000 from friends and was dropped from hosting Australia’s Next Top Model. All of these factors could have contributed to Dawson’s death as on 22 February the 47-year-old finally decided to end her own life.
By Hammad Ali