TV presenter Charlotte Dawson, best known for her role as a judge on Australia’s Next Top Model, has been found dead aged 47.
The New Zealand-born model, who also fronted TV show The Contender, was discovered at her home in Woolloomooloo, Sydney, on Saturday morning.
Police did not immediately confirm a cause of death but said there were no suspicious circumstances, and that investigations were continuing.
Charlotte had had a history of depression and was hospitalised in 2012 after being bullied online by Twitter trolls.
Reports at the time suggested she had tried to take her own life in in the wake of the abuse, which began after she became involved in an anti-bullying initiative.
She later attempted to expose the bullies on Australian TV, speaking of the ‘helplessness’ they had made her feel – although her decision to speak out led to further abuse.
Charlotte, who left New Zealand when she was 16 to pursue her modelling career, also worked in fashion publishing in Australia before becoming a familiar face on TV.
She spent six series as a judge of Australia’s Next Top Model, joining in season three – although it was unclear whether she would have returned for the next series following reports she had been axed from the show.
Among those paying tribute to the model were New Zealand prime minister John Key, who said on Twitter he was ‘shocked and saddened to hear of Charlotte Dawson’s death’.
Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe – who had been a close friend of Charlotte’s since they were teenagers and lived near her in Sydney – was also reported to be devastated after hearing the news.
A friend told the Australian Daily Telegraph that Charlotte had been in ‘the worst shape emotionally’ in the days leading up to her death, with concerns being raised after she failed to turned up to a planned lunch or update her Twitter account.
“She was in terrible shape,” the friend said. “She had failed to show up to lunch a couple of days ago and when I had seen she hadn’t tweeted in almost a day it was very clear something was wrong.”