Friends tried to save fragile Charlotte Dawson

00:07, Feb 24 2014
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Charlotte Dawson arrives at the GQ Men of the Year awards at the Ivy Ballroom on November 19, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
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Charlotte Dawson and Roger Wylie at the Heritage for the launch of the new luxury apartments , The Stanley.
Charlotte Dawson 1966-2014
Media personality Charlotte Dawson smiles after getting slimed during the Nickelodeon Slimefest 2012 evening show at Hordern Pavilion on September 15, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.
Charlotte Dawson 1966-2014
Moet & Chandon Party at NZFW...Petra Bagust, Trelise Cooper and Charlotte Dawson
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Charlotte Dawson, photographed in her Auckland home Dec. 2006. promoting a 2007 calendar which supports animals in need. She is holding her pet chihuahua dog Harper.
Charlotte Dawson 1966-2014
Celebrity Charlotte Dawson officially opens Aoraki Polytechnic's hairdressing and beauty therapy facility.
Charlotte Dawson 1966-2014
United Travel Getaway host Charlotte Dawson had an adrenalin-fuelled start to her day today with a 12,000ft tandem skydive, over the snow-kissed Remarkables with Tandem Master Scott Wingate
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Charlotte Dawson, in an image posted on her Instagram account the day before her body was found.
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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: TV personality Charlotte Dawson watches the game during the round 12 NBL match between the Sydney Kings and the Perth Wildcats at Sydney Entertainment Centre on December 29, 2010 in Sydney, Australia.
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2003: Charlotte Dawson with her book 'Charlotte's Secrets'.
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2003: Charlotte Dawson and her puppy.
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2006: Charlotte Dawson at Pontoon for the Chandon Supper Club after party.
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Charlotte Dawson shows off some of Trelise Cooper's latest clothing- red / white fitted dress - at the L'oreal fashion week in Auckland 2003.
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Charlotte Dawson in the Trelise Cooper show Loreal Fashion week Auckland Town Hall, 2003.
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Charlotte Dawson arrives at the launch of Australia's Next Top Model Season 8 at Doltone House on July 4, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
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Alex Perry, Jennifer Hawkins and Charlotte Dawson pose during the Sydney audition for Season 8 of Australia's Next Top Model at Pitt Street Mall on January 19, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.

As news of the death of Charlotte Dawson filtered across both sides of the Tasman, her grief-stricken friends were putting together the details of her memorial and wondering how the woman they loved could be farewelled in a fitting manner.

A close family friend has said the body would most likely be cremated privately in Sydney later this week and there would be dual memorial services - one in Sydney and one in her native New Zealand.

On Sunday, friends of the vivacious television presenter were still coming to terms with her death, speaking about their tortured friend who had long dealt with depression.

One devastated friend who worked closely with the star for years, and tried many times to help her, said: ''There are so many of us that tried so hard for so long to help Charlotte and give her what she needed but, sadly, it was never enough. We just weren't equipped to deal with it.''

Another said Dawson was on her own trajectory and she had the will of an ox: ''You could try to steer her in one direction but she operated on her own agenda and she was such a strong-willed woman.''

According to one friend, Dawson was fixated on an anti-anxiety drug that she thought would help her quit drinking.

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Fairfax Media understands Dawson was taking Baclofen, a muscle relaxant that French cardiologist Olivier Ameisen claimed had cured him of drinking alcohol, sparking international headlines.

''She looked a million dollars when I saw her last week,'' a friend said. ''She had given up drinking and was talking about an anti-depressant she was taking ... Charlotte subscribed to the theory 'you take a pill for everything'. She sent me the link to a story on this drug, believing it would help her.''

Mark Byrne, who managed Dawson for 15 years, said she had an ability to make people laugh.

''She touched a lot of people but the public eye was her tormenter as well,'' he said.

Pieced together conversations from friends who spent time with her over the past week reveal a woman trying to come to terms with her life and her future.

''She was crying for hours, saying 'I'm not so good' - I knew she wasn't well,'' said one devastated friend.

''I said 'you are strong' and begged her to go away with me for the weekend to Byron Bay. I knew she wasn't strong but then, a minute later, she would bounce back and be laughing ... She was so tough and yet so vulnerable.''

WHERE TO FIND HELP

If you or someone you know needs to talk, these are 24-hour helplines:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354

Youthline: 0800 376 633

Samaritans: 0800 726 666

If it is an emergency call 111

For information about suicide prevention, see http://www.spinz.org.nz

Sydney Morning Herald