Alexander McQueen died due to cocktail of powerful drugs
The 40-year-old British fashion designer was found dead in his London apartment on February 11, the day before his beloved mother Joyce`s funeral. He had hanged himself in his wardrobe.
Toxicology reports have now revealed McQueen had taken "substantial amount" of cocaine, tranquilisers and sleeping pills at the time of his death. Coroner Dr. Paul Knapman told an inquest today that McQueen committed suicide because he was under huge pressure at work and "overwhelmed with grief" after the death of his mother.
"The balance of his mind was disturbed," Knapman told Westminster Coroner`s Court. "It seems that he had a history of self-harm and, no doubt fuelled by cocaine, he resorted to desperate measures to end his life. It`s such a pity for a man who, from a modest start, climbed to the top of his profession only to die in such tragedy."
The court also heard from McQueen`s psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen Pereira, who said the designer had a history of depression, anxiety and insomnia and had attempted suicide twice before, trying to overdose on drugs in May and July last year. He had also researched killing himself on the internet prior to his death.
Pereira said McQueen had repeatedly missed appointments to discuss his depression.
"He certainly felt very pressured by his work, but it was a double-edged sword," Pereira said. "He felt it was the only area of his life where he felt he had achieved something.
"Usually after a show he felt a huge come-down. He felt isolated, it gave him a huge low. He was also upset about the death of his mother. He felt that was the one link that had gone from his life and there was very little to live for"
The inquest was ordered to investigate McQueen`s death, which has now officially been ruled a suicide. After the verdict, his family said they were still struggling to cope with their grief.
"The inquest has obviously been very difficult for the family as we are still coming to terms with the loss of Lee in such tragic circumstances," a family statement read. "Lee was a public figure and a creative genius, who possessed a generous, loving, caring nature.
"Those who were privileged to have known Lee will cherish their memories of him for all their lives. Lee was also a much-loved brother and son and we miss him terribly. We will continue to make every effort to keep his memory alive."
McQueen`s birth name was Lee.