The sad series of events that clutched Kate Moss' best friend's life, before she died at 49.

Model Annabelle Neilson’s body was discovered in her Chelsea home on Thursday after she died at age 49 in yet unknown circumstances police have deemed not to be suspicious.

It was an untimely and tragic end to a glittering life of fashion and fame – marked by distressing and horrific events.

The best friend to both designer Alexander McQueen and fellow model Kate Moss first experienced great trauma when she was just 16 years old.

The then-teen was on a gap year travelling across Australia, when she was randomly attacked by a man in Perth who was later charged and found guilty of murdering three women.

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Annabelle Neilson with her good friend Alexander McQueen in April 2006. Image: Getty.

In 2015 she recalled the horrific experience to the Daily Mail: 'The attack lasted for two hours. I was tied to a tree and continually beaten. I looked like the elephant girl by the end of it.

"I managed to escape with my life but I needed reconstructive surgery because my face was so disfigured."

Neilson admitted that she struggled to cope with the ensuing traumatic stress as a result of the attack, and developed depression, while also turning to heroin to provide an "escape bubble". Before the event, she had grown up with severe dyslexia, the reason why she left school so young.

And while heroin destroys so many lives, the children's author, who described herself as an "addict" then, said the drug "saved" hers.


"In a way, heroin saved me because otherwise, I would have killed myself."

Despite fighting drug addiction, Neilson managed to carve out a modelling career, which solidified when she met designer Alexander McQueen in her early 20s. In the 1990s she was walking catwalks and partying alongside her friend Kate Moss, who she later described as her "best mate".


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But McQueen was her "soulmate".

"He was my brother, my boyfriend, my soulmate. Most of the time people called me Mrs McQueen. Quite often we were sharing a bed," she told the Daily Mail. "The truth is I was happier with Lee than with anyone else."

Understandably, she took his death in 2010 hard - especially as one of the last people to see her alive. It's believed that she never fully recovered from that loss.

The other men in her life were banker and millionaire heir Nat Rothschild and British aristocrat Edward Spencer Churchill.

Neilson married Rothschild in 1994 - a match his family did not approve of. The pair divorced just three years later in 1997, and she later dated Churchill, who she remained good friends with. Just days before her death she attended his wedding in Oxfordshire alongside Moss.

Annabelle Neilson with Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell in February 2010. Image: Getty

The star of US reality show Ladies Of London from 2014 to 2015 experienced her most recent distressing event when she was thrown from a horse in 2013.

The horse-lover broke her back, describing the pain as "horrendous". In that moment, Neilson feared she'd become paralysed, but thankfully regained movement in her lower body. Still, it took her three months to be able to walk again and the crippling back pain never left her. She also reportedly didn't ride a horse again.

However, two redeeming parts of Neilson's life were her ability to overcome obstacles, and her enduring friendship with Kate Moss.

"Kate is my best mate and I love her like a sister. Yes, she’s an icon but to me she’s just Kate," she said last year.

"She always looks out for me and I look out for her. We’ve got each other’s backs. I’m very proud of her and she’s very proud of me."

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