Designer’s death puts Stones tour in doubt

A Rolling Stones tour of Australia and New Zealand is hanging in the balance after the girlfriend of frontman Mick Jagger was found dead in New York.

Fashion designer L’Wren Scott was found dead in her $6 million Manhattan apartment on Monday after reportedly being dumped by longtime boyfriend Jagger and struggling to keep her company afloat.

Jagger, who arrived with his bandmates on Monday in Perth for the first leg of the Rolling Stones Australasian concert tour, was “completely shocked and devastated” by L’Wren’s death.

Wednesday’s Rolling Stones concert in Perth is likely to be cancelled, with Jagger expected to fly to New York to grieve with friends and family, although no official announcement has been made.

The fate of the rest of the tour is unknown. The Stones were set to play in Auckland on 5 April.

Scott, 49, sent her assistant Brittany Penebre a text message at 8.30am on Monday local time, asking her to come to her ninth floor Chelsea apartment at 10am, but when Penebre arrived, she found the designer dead.

The New York Medical Examiner’s Office will determine a cause of death, but the initial investigation points to Scott taking her own life, police sources said.

Her fashion empire was reportedly crumbling with a $US6 million debt and last month she cancelled her London Fashion Week show at the last minute.

Her 13-year relationship with Jagger, longer than his eight-year marriage to Bianca Jagger and nine years with Jerry Hall, ended recently when the Rolling Stones frontman dumped her, according to the New York Post.

Jagger’s representative, however, said the couple “absolutely” was together when she died.

“A 49-year-old female was found this morning at 10.05am at 200 11th Avenue. She was unconscious,” an NYPD spokesperson said.

“She was pronounced dead on arrival by the emergency medical services.

“The investigation is ongoing.

“We are awaiting medical examiners to determine the cause of death.”

Australian actress Nicole Kidman, husband Keith Urban and their daughters, Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret, also have an apartment in the exclusive tower complex that allows owners to drive their car into a lift that takes them to their unit.

“Nicole and L’Wren were close friends for 25 years,” Kidman’s representative said.

“Nicole is heartbroken and in shock right now and unable to say anything.”

Utah-raised Scott dressed most of Hollywood’s A-List, including Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon and Amy Adams, but it was Kidman who was the most devoted, regularly choosing the designer for Oscar, Cannes Film Festival and other red carpet events.

Scott, a former model turned Hollywood stylist who went on to build an empire producing gowns, handbags, sunglasses and fragrances, was 190cm tall and towered over 178cm Jagger.

She understood how to dress tall, thin frames like Kidman’s.

Jagger’s daughter, Georgia May, has pulled out of Melbourne Fashion Week.

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The 22-year-old was due to showcase Camilla Franks’ collection, but the Sydney-based designer announced the model would miss the event.

“We offer our sincere condolences to Ms Jagger and her family,” the Camilla label said in a statement on Tuesday.