Simone Holtznagel pays tribute to her late mentor Charlotte Dawson

"8 years on, still totally heartbroken."
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This article deals with the topics of mental health issues and suicide, which may be triggering to some readers.

Simone Holtznagel has paid tribute to her mentor and friend, Charlotte Dawson, eight years after her tragic death.

WATCH: Simone Holtznagel opens up about Charlotte Dawson on SAS Australia

Simone met Charlotte while competing on Australia’s Next Top Model in 2011. The aspiring model forged a close friendship with Charlotte, who was a loveable and fabulous force as one of the series’ judges.

Charlotte, who suffered from clinical depression, was an advocate for better mental health awareness and conversation. She was vocal about her own battles as she fought for tougher regulations of bullying on social media platforms.

On February 22, 2014, Charlotte ended her life. She was 47 years old.

On the eighth anniversary of her passing in 2022, Simone paid tribute to her beloved friend. Posting a photo with Charlotte set to the tune of Lost Without You by Freya Ridings, Simone wrote: “8 years on, still totally heartbroken.”

Her simple message echoed her statement from last year, where she wrote: “The last 7 years when this date comes around, I feel like I want to say something profound about suicide and losing one of the most special people in my life. But 7 years comes and goes and I still can’t seem to find the right words other than – I miss you, I love you and I f***ing wish you were here. That’s all I can manage.”

simone holtznagel charlotte dawson
Simone shared this photo on the anniversary of Charlotte’s death. (Credit: Instagram)

Jackie Gillies was among those to share their condolences with Simone on the post. The Real Housewives of Melbourne star and psychic had previously shared a touching moment with the model, when they appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here in 2018.

Jackie did a reading for Simone, saying she had a message from Charlotte.

“She says to tell you, did you find her journal? She wrote a journal and in this journal, you are in it,” Jackie explained to Simone.

“She is also telling me you have a lot of anger as to why she did what she did. She says you are her little sister, that is how she views you. And she is telling me to tell you not to cry, she knows how much you miss her. She says she doesn’t want to see you crying in the bed anymore.”

In another moment, Jackie relayed to Simone that Charlotte was showing her lingerie. Simone replied: “Cos I’ve got heaps of her underwear. Her sisters gave it to me.”

charlotte dawson
Charlotte was Simone’s mentor and close friend. (Credit: Instagram)

The 28-year-old model and SAS Australia star has been open about how the loss of Charlotte impacted her life.

In her final episode of SAS, Simone revealed that when the New Zealand-born star died, her friends were called to see her body as Charlotte’s family had not yet arrived in Australia. 

When I did Top Model one of the judges on the show really took me under her wing and she had a lot of high hopes for me. But she had a lot of s**t as well, and she passed away,” Simone told DS Ant Middleton, who asked where her anxiety attacks came from.

“Charlotte Dawson was my mentor and my very good friend. I remember that moment, I just collapsed to the ground,” Simone said in her interview to camera.

“I was asked to go and identify her body because her family was in New Zealand and it was just… something I never thought I’d have to do, especially at 20. And I think about it now and I was so little, like I was a baby.

“There were a couple of months after she died where I was drinking every day, barely getting out of bed, and I had a moment where I was like… she died, I didn’t. And she wouldn’t want me to not live my life. And if she had seen me doing that she would have hated it because she always had so much belief that I would go on and be this… superstar.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit their website.

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