Scott was found hanging from a doorknob Monday morning, and police said they believed her death was a suicide. ‘Everyone thought she had a perfect life but when you would chat to her it was clear her life was far from it,’ a close friend of hers told The Daily News. Mick Jagger is said to be ‘completely shocked and devastated’ by her death. Rolling Stones cancelled Wednesday show in Perth, Australia.
Published: March 17, 2014, 12:16 PM
Updated: March 18, 2014, 2:25 PM
CARL COURT/Getty Images
L’Wren Scott, fashion designer and model, was found dead Monday in Manhattan, authorities said. She was found hanged in her apartment.
L’ Wren Scott, the glamorous fashion designer and longtime lover of Mick Jagger, was nearly $6 million in debt when she hanged herself Monday in her ritzy Manhattan apartment.
Scott’s business had been taking on water for some time, and last month she suddenly pulled out of London’s Fashion Week show, blaming “production reasons,” records indicated.
It turned out Scott, 49 — whose designs have been worn by everyone from Oscar winners Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock to First Lady Michelle Obama — didn’t have the dough to pay her staffers or suppliers.
While she appeared to be a runway success, Scott’s company, LS Fashion Limited, was $2.1 million in the red in 2009, according to financial records in the United Kingdom, where she sometimes lived with Jagger and where her company was incorporated.
Marcus Santos/New York Daily News
The medical examiner’s van inside the garage at the apartment of L’Wren Scott.
By 2010, the company was $3.06 million in debt — and by 2012, it was $5.89 million in the hole, records show.
Scott could have turned for help to Jagger — the Rolling Stones singer’s net worth is estimated at more than $305 million. It’s not known if she did. But friends said Scott was the kind of person who hated asking for help.
“Everyone thought she had a perfect life, but when you would chat to her it was clear her life was far from it,” a close British friend of Scott’s told the Daily News. “She told me, ‘I think I worry too much.’”
Jeff Bachner for New York Daily News
The swanky Chelsea apartment building where L’Wren Scott lived.
“She had a high-profile business with lots of buzz and lots of press but you didn’t always see the money flowing in.”
Mick Jagger and L’Wren Scott pose following her Fall/Winter 2012 collection during New York Fashion Week.
Scott tried to stop the bleeding in the last year, removing the company’s director and then replacing him months later with her big brother, Randall Bambrough. It’s unclear if he was able to turn the tide at all — he’s only been on the job for three months, records show.
Jagger, 70, who began dating Scott in 2001 and is on tour in Australia with the Stones, appeared ashen-faced when he abruptly left a restaurant after getting the horrible news.
Hours earlier, the ageless rock icon had tweeted a happy photo of himself at the beach. The Stones announced via their website that a concert set for Wednesday was cancelled. No indication yet on what will happen regarding the rest of the tour. They weren’t set to play another gig until March 25.
Scott Wintrow/Gamut Photos
This is an example of the interior of an apartment located in the building where L’Wren Scott lived.
Jagger is “completely shocked and devastated by the news,” he said in a statement.
He and Scott had been seen together as recently as last week.
JB NICHOLAS for New York Daily News
The medical examiner’s van leaves with the body of L’Wren Scott.
The rocker’s rep denied reports the two had recently separated. “This is a complete and utter fabrication and a result of ill-informed gossip at this tragic time for Mick … It is absurd and not true,” said spokesman Bernard Doherty.
On Monday, Scott texted her assistant, Brittany Penebre, at 8:30 a.m. and told her to come by her $5.6 million Chelsea apartment. Records show Scott owned the pad outright after paying off the $1.25 million mortgage last year.
Sometime between that text and 10 a.m., when Penebre let herself in with her own key and called 911, the 6-foot-3-inch former model knelt down and used a scarf to hang herself from an L-shaped doorknob, police sources said.
Mick Jagger tweeted a photo of himself in Perth, Australia, on Monday.
“You lean away from the door applying pressure till you pass out,” one source said, explaining the method. “After that, gravity takes over.”
Scott, who was fully clothed and did not leave a note, was beyond saving by the time police and paramedics arrived, the sources said.
Sabine Albers/Getty Images
The Rolling Stones private jet is seen at Perth Airport on Tuesday.
Her body was taken by the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.
Fashion icon Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, said that Scott was “a total perfectionist.”
“In person, L’Wren was always unbelievably generous, gracious, kind and so much fun,” said Wintour. “Her old-world American manners and charm were from another time, but her sensibility was always fiercely modern. We will all miss her.”
A photo of Brittany Penebre, assistant to L’Wren Scott. Penebre discovered Scott dead in her apartment.
Designer Michael Houghton said that like Jagger, he was shocked.
“I spoke to people in the Stones camp,” Houghton told The News. “Everyone is shocked. She seemed to have her career going well and everyone assumed things were fine between her and Mick.”
Carlos Delgado/for New York Daily News
Lupe Montufar, 57, L’wren Scott’s housekeeper from 1993 to 2009, is shown with an undated photo of the two of them at her home in Los Angeles on Monday.
Scott lived and died in a 2,364-square-foot duplex with 3 1/2 baths and three bedrooms, teak wood floors, and floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
Actress Nicole Kidman also owned a pad in the 11th Ave. tower.
Scott had been dating ‘Rolling Stone’ icon Mick Jagger since 2001.
“Nicole and L’Wren were close friends for 25 years,” Kidman’s rep said. “Nicole is heartbroken and in shock right now and unable to say anything.”
A spokesman for Scott’s family asked “that their privacy be respected.”
@RollingStones via Twitter
The Rolling Stones are presently in Australia as part of a world tour.
Jagger and Scott were an item for 13 years — longer than he was married to Bianca Jagger (eight years) and Jerry Hall (nine years). Scott was friends with Bianca.
“Heartbroken to learn of the loss of the lovely and talented L’Wren Scott,” Bianca Jagger tweeted. “My thoughts and prayers are with her family. May she rest in peace.”
Scott was already a star in the fashion world when she crossed paths with Jagger, and she towered over the legendary lothario.
Scott’s former housekeeper in Hollywood Hills, Lupe Montufar, 57, said Scott “sacrificed a lot” to be with Jagger.
“She knew there were other women, but she accepted it to be with him,” Montufar told The News. “He had her under his spell.”
“She would tell me she wanted to get married and have a family, but she didn’t want to get her hopes up or say it out loud to Mick. She didn’t want to pressure him,” said the housekeeper, who worked for Scott from 1993 to 2009.
“She always dreamed about having fame, fortune and money. She had all that in her hands with him.”
Montufar said she never knew her former boss to be depressed — and said the times she’d seen her down, she would get out of it by going on a shopping spree.
In December, Scott made a move into the mass market with a limited-edition line she designed for Banana Republic and it sold out completely. But it apparently wasn’t enough to put her company back in the black.
In addition to her family, Scott is survived by ex-husband Anthony Blake Brand, 52. They divorced in 1996.
With Rocco Parascandola, Nancy Dillon, Chelsia Rose Marcius, Brad Gerick, Oren Yaniv and Brian Niemietz