Sorry, I love you – tragic Alexander McQueen's final note

FASHION designer Alexander McQueen hanged himself after taking a cocktail of drugs, an inquest heard.

• Alexander McQueen had a history of depression. Picture: PA

The 40-year-old's body was found at his flat in Mayfair, London, on 11 February, the day before the funeral of his mother Joyce.

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The hearing was told police found a note scribbled on to the back of a book in McQueen's room. It read: "Look after my dogs, sorry, I love you, Lee."

The inquest into his death was told that McQueen had a history of depression, anxiety and insomnia and had researched suicide on the internet prior to taking his life.

Westminster Coroner Dr Paul Knapman said that the fashion designer had "killed himself while the balance of his mind was disturbed".

Dr Knapman added: "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 was told that McQueen felt huge pressure from his work as one of the world's leading designers.

His psychiatrist, Dr Stephen Pereira, said McQueen, who was diagnosed with mixed anxiety and depressive disorder, saw his work as a double-edged sword.

Dr Pereira said: "He certainly felt very pressured by his work, but it was a double-edged sword. He felt it was the only area of his life where he felt he had achieved something.

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"Usually after a show he felt a huge comedown. He felt isolated; it gave him a huge low."

Dr Pereira told the inquest that McQueen had attempted two drug overdoses in May and July last year, describing both as "cries for help".

A toxicology report found that the designer had taken a "substantial" amount of cocaine and sleeping pills and also a smaller amount of tranquillisers prior to his death.

A post-mortem examination found the two causes of death were asphyxia and hanging.

Coroner's officer Lynda Martindill said: "He had been particularly close to his mother and, following her death, had become overwhelmed with grief."

Dr Pereira also suggested the death of McQueen's mother had a huge effect upon the designer. He said: "He was mentally very close to 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 heard details of McQueen's life, such as his love for deep sea diving and his three pet dogs.

He said the designer repeatedly missed appointments to discuss his condition.

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McQueen was discovered by his housekeeper, Cesar Garcia, who arrived at 9:30am to find the doors of his flat locked.

His family released a statement, which read: "Today's 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.

We will continue to make every effort to keep his memory alive."