Stella Tennant: Family confirm supermodel's sudden death was suicide

January 08, 2021

British supermodel Stella Tennant took her own life after being "unwell for some time", her family have confirmed.

Tennant, who lived in Duns, a town in the Scottish borders, died on 22 December, five days after her 50th birthday.

Following her sudden death, Police Scotland confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances.

A statement from her family said: "We have been humbled by the outpouring of messages of sympathy and support since Stella died.

"She was a beautiful soul, adored by a close family and good friends, a sensitive and talented woman whose creativity, intelligence and humour touched so many.

"Stella had been unwell for some time. So, it is a matter of our deepest sorrow and despair that she felt unable to go on, despite the love of those closest to her.

"In grieving Stella's loss, her family renews a heartfelt request that respect for their privacy should continue."

The granddaughter of the 11th Duke of Devonshire, Andrew Cavendish, and Deborah Mitford, Tennant was known as an aristocratic supermodel.

Her modelling career started in 1993 at the age of 23, with a shoot for the December issue of British Vogue, and she went on to walk catwalks for designers including Gianni Versace, Karl Lagerfeld and Alexander McQueen.

In the late 1990s, Lagerfeld announced Tennant as the new face of Chanel and she became a muse for the designer, which he attributed to her resemblance to Coco Chanel.

She also appeared in numerous advertising campaigns for big fashion brands over the years, including for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Hermes, and Burberry.

In June 2012, Tennant was inducted as Model of the Year in the Scottish Fashion Awards Hall of Fame.

She was among the models representing the British fashion industry during the closing ceremony on the final day of the London 2012 Olympics - alongside the likes of Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and David Gandy.

Tennant posed for magazines such as French, British and Italian Vogue, as well as Harper's Bazaar, several times throughout her career, and most recently graced the cover of British Vogue in December 2018.

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Following news of her death, tributes poured in from across the fashion world, including messages from Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham and fashion house Versace.

Tennant leaves behind four children, who she shared with French-born photographer David Lasnet, who she separated from earlier this year.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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