news

"I never looked at her Instagram.": The truth behind Annalise Braakensiek's public persona.

This article contains mentions of mental health issues and may be distressing for some readers. 

“I never looked at her Instagram, I never looked at her Facebook – it upset me. It wasn’t true.”

Annalise Braakensiek’s mother, Vera Stevens, has spoken to Sunday night about her late daughter’s social media presence, saying it wasn’t at all an accurate reflection of reality.

Ms Brakkensiek, 48, was found dead in her Sydney harbour-side apartment in early January. Her death isn’t being treated as suspicious.

Lauren Curtis explains how her social media is all “smoke and mirrors”. Post continues after video.

After a successful modelling career and a stint on television, Braakensiek took to her social media to share her “picture perfect” life reinventing herself as an influencer.

But Stevens says she’d then call her in a panic; “I can’t breathe, I am so depressed,” she’d say.

Stevens says her daughter often got distracted by her life, and the Bondi Beach ‘culture’, obsessing about perfecting her Instagram feed.

“I’d ring her every day and often she wouldn’t answer the phone and wouldn’t send a message for quite a while, and it’s the hardest thing in the world,” Stevens told Sunday Night.

Vera Stevens
Annalise's mother Vera has spoken to Sunday night.
ADVERTISEMENT

Ayesha Rose, a friend of Braakensiek, told the program she would put a lot of physical stress on looking the part.

"She worked out so much. I did see her stress a lot about the angle of the picture, or it was a lot of stress for something that didn't really matter," she said.

To escape her depression, and her 17-year marriage breakdown, Braakensiek turned to drugs.

"I think in any scene, there are drugs involved. There's lots of alcohol and if that's being done regularly, you're not going to be thinking straight, you're going to be depressed," said Ayesha.

Rose says she tried to shake her out of it, but it didn't work.

"It's an addictive lifestyle. It's live for the weekend, live for the party, live for the moment, where you feel good for a second," she explained.

Braakensiek starred in the TV show Fat Pizza, and creator Paul Fenech described the model and actress as "a sweet, loving person who was down to earth."

"You think it's going to be great," he said of fame.

"But the pressure of kind of keeping your image just weighs on you all the time. You know, for some people, it's very hard. Some people can't deal with it," he said.

Both Braakensiek's mother and her friend Ayesha think a fatal accident, not depression, killed her.

"I screamed like I've never screamed in my life, and I felt like me entire life force was leaving me," was Stevens' reaction to hearing about her daughter's death.

"I don't think Annalise wanted to die. I believe she went out on New Year's Eve and she partied and partied, and she made a fatal mistake in what she ingested. That's what i think," she said.

"I don't think her death was anything to do with her depression. I think it was an accident," added Rose.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem please contact your general practitioner or in Austraila, contact Lifeline 13 11 14, or beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

Get up to date with today's news via The Quicky.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, please seek professional help and contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If someone is in immediate danger, call 000 immediately.

00:00 / ???