- Socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has died suddenly, aged 45.
- She had been suffering from a brain tumour.
- Police are investigating.
- “TPT,” as she was known, had a longstanding cocaine addiction, which she had kicked.
- The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall released a statement saying they were “deeply saddened.”
- She will be remembered as the ne plus ultra “It girl” of the 1990s.
LONDON — Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has died at the age of 45, according to The Sun.
The former TV star, “It girl,” model, and tabloid regular passed away at her home near Earl’s Court in London on Wednesday.
She had been battling a brain tumour since last January and had been receiving treatment for a growth in her pituitary gland.
In November, she told The Daily Mail: “I went to the doctors to talk about my latest blood test results when I got back from skiing in January.”
“I said, ‘What does this mean? Can you translate it?’ And the doctor said, ‘As I suspected, you have a brain tumour.'”
“I got terribly frightened. I started thinking, ‘I’m going to die, I’m going to die.”
Palmer-Tomkinson was one of the original 1990s It girls in Britain. She was often seen with celebrities and royalty, and is the god daughter of Prince Charles. She even attended Will and Kate’s wedding.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall released a statement saying they were “deeply saddened” following the death of their close friend.
Her role as a famous-for-being-famous professional socialite was covered in the tabloid press and helped spawn the birth of celebrity gossip magazines such as Heat.
As a child she went to the super-posh Sherborne School for Girls in Dorset. She then worked briefly at Rothschilds bank in London. She came to public attention in the early 1990s when she began writing a column for The Sunday Times. It later turned out that the column was ghost-written by Wendy Holden, who put it together from phone calls in which Palmer-Tomkinson would describe what she had done the previous week.
Over the last two decades she transformed herself into a TV presenter, reality show contestant, and the author of three books (two novels and the non-fiction “Naughty Girl’s Guide to Life). She admitted they were ghost-written, too.
She appeared on “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!” in 2002, and featured in episodes of “Blind Date,” “Top Gear,” and “Would I Lie To You?”
She battled drug problems in the past, and even underwent septum reconstruction surgery in 2006 due to her cocaine addiction, which reportedly cost £400 per day.
In an interview with BT last summer, she said she had regrets about her past.
“I definitely have regrets,” she said. “I wish I had never touched half the stuff…But in the same way, I’m not going to sit there and feel ashamed for what I did, because I had had a life.”
“I might be 44, but I was at so many different parties in so many different countries, I haven’t slept for 20 years!”
More recently, she used her 15,000-strong Twitter account to support efforts to raise money for cancer and children’s charities.
Enquiries into her death are ongoing, according to the police.
“Police were called by London Ambulance Service at approximately 13:40hrs on Wednesday, 8 February to an address in Bramham Gardens, SW5,” a police spokesman said.
“A woman, aged in her 40s, was pronounced dead at the scene. Next of kin have been informed. The death is being treated as unexplained. At this early stage, police are not treating the death as suspicious.”
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