Friday, November 14, 2008

"Katy French" (dies after 'cocaine binge')

Katy Ellen French (31 October 19836 December 2007) was an Irish socialite and model. Born in Basel, Switzerland, she moved with her family to Ireland at two years of age, briefly living in the Sandyford area before settling in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow. According to the BBC, "in the space of less than two years, she had become one of Ireland's best-known models and socialites." She collapsed at a friend's house on 2 December 2007 and died on 6 December. A post mortem examination determined that she had suffered brain damage. Traces of cocaine were found in her body. A police investigation into her death is ongoing. Four people were detained for questioning by police on 20 and 21 February 2008.
French attended
Alexandra College in Milltown, Dublin from the age of seven. She studied psychology before working for the Assets Modelling Agency. She represented Sony Ericsson and Suzuki, coming to greater acclaim in 2007 as a result of her fiancé, restaurateur Marcus Sweeney, ending their relationship in a very public fashion after French was photographed for a lingerie shoot for the Sunday Independent in his restaurant in January of that year. As a result of this publicity, her image appeared more regularly in daily Irish tabloid newspapers and she made numerous television appearances on shows such as RTÉ's The Podge and Rodge Show in April 2007 and Tubridy Tonight a week before her death.[7] French was known for deliberately courting controversy to promote her career. She claimed that when going to appear on Celebrities Go Wild for the People in Need Telethon that she would bring her vibrator with her.[citation needed] On Tubridy Tonight she spoke of her appearance on Celebrities Go Wild as well as her relationship break up with Sweeney. Mention was also made of her birthday party which she was to celebrate the following week, having missed her birthday due to Celebrities Go Wild. Host Ryan Tubridy was invited to the event. Footage too was shown of the charity single "Down in the Bog" which was to be released as a Christmas single. She once worked for the Irish charity GOAL in Calcutta, India.[8] She wrote a column for Social & Personal magazine.
In an interview with
Hot Press's Jason O'Toole,] she revealed that she would consider having an abortion if she became pregnant during the peak of her career, a controversial claim in Ireland where abortion is effectively illegal, and that she loved fur despite being a "massive animal lover". She also aired her religious beliefs (she was a member of the Church of Ireland but also practised Catholicism) and spoke highly of Islam and her Muslim friends saying, "When you read the Koran, you realise that Islam is a beautiful religion".] In the same interview she was asked if she had ever used cocaine and denied ever having done so. Yet in November 2007, French told an Irish tabloid that she had used cocaine in the past,] but had since stopped using it. The week before she died, she celebrated her 24th birthday with celebrity and media friends.
Katy French died on the evening of
6 December 2007 in Our Lady's Hospital, Navan in Co. Meath, having collapsed at a friend's house in Kilmessan, County Meath in the early hours of Sunday 2 December. Her death is recognised to have been brought on by the use of illegal drugs. French had admitted using cocaine, although she claimed she hadn't used it in a few years. She was buried in her hometown of Enniskerry, County Wicklow on 10 December. The Taoiseach's aide de camp Captain Michael Tracey attended her funeral.[2] His attendance was criticized because the government was not represented at the funerals of two young men who had died in apparently similar circumstances the week before French's death. In addition, with the circumstances of her death being a cocaine overdose, many thought it inappropriate for any government minister to be represented.
post mortem revealed that she had suffered brain damage. Traces of cocaine were found in her body.[3] An Garda Síochána have launched an inquiry into her death. Four people were detained for questioning by police in connection with the investigation on 20 and 21 February 2008.

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