Ruslana Korshunova’s body is taken away and , inset, the 20-year-old on the catwalk.
Friends puzzled by model’s suspected suicide
The mother of dead Russian super model, Ruslana Korshunova, has arrived in New York to take her daughter’s body home. Ruslana plunged from her ninth floor apartment in a Manhattan high rise, in what police say was almost certainly suicide. She died four days before turning 21.
Close friends of Ruslana Korshunova, the 20-year-old Kazakh model who plunged to her death from her ninth-floor Manhattan flat at the weekend, say they can’t believe she committed suicide.
Korshunova appeared on the front covers of Russian Vogue and French Elle and was dubbed “fashion’s muse of the moment” by the Times newspaper in 2005.
Police in New York reported no signs of a struggle inside the model’s apartment and witnesses say they saw her leap from her balcony on Saturday, just three days shy of her 21st birthday.
But Kira Titeneva, who described herself as Korshunova’s “best friend” from her home town, told the New York Daily News: “There’s no way she would have killed herself. She loved life so much.”
Ms Titeneva was also quoted in London’s Daily Mail as saying: “I talked to her on Friday night and we were talking all the gossip.”
Another friend told the paper that Korshunova, who would have earned around $5200 for a catwalk show, had been sending money home to her family in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan and was “one of the sweetest, nicest people you’ll ever meet”.
The unnamed source told the paper the model had just returned from a modelling job in Paris and seemed “on top of the world”.
“There were no signs. That’s what’s driving me crazy. I don’t see one reason why she would do that,” he said.
Korshunova’s last hours were spent with a former boyfriend Artem Perchenok, 24, who told the New York Post he dropped her off at her apartment just hours before her death after they watched the Patrick Swayze film Ghost together.
Korshunova’s doorman, Mahmoud Nakeeb, was also quoted in the Daily Mail as claiming the model seemed happy when she came home about 4am on Saturday.
“She came in this morning, she smiled, no sense of depression,” he said.
But emotional postings on the beauty’s social networking site in recent months hinted at an inner struggle.
“I’m so lost. Will I ever find myself?” London’s Telegraph quoted Korshunova as writing three months ago.
The paper also quoted a post in January saying: “It hurts, as if someone took a part of me, tore it out, mercilessly stomped all over and threw it out.”
The balcony the model fell from had construction netting around it which appeared to have been cut, according to the Daily Mail, which also wrote that Korshunova was shoeless and dressed in blue jeans and a purple tank top when she died.
Her agency, IMG, was reeling from the tragedy and gathering information about her death and work schedule, the Daily Mail reported.
“We’re shocked and our heart goes out to her family,” spokesman Zach Eichman was quoted as saying.