Celebrated writer Sally Brampton has died at the age of 60. The Hastings Observer reports that witnesses saw Brampton walking into the sea leading to speculation that she committed suicide. There has been no official word from authorities on the incident. Famously, she had written about her struggles with depression over the years.
Her ex-husband, director Nigel Cole, tweeted in the aftermath of Brampton’s death, “Devastated to hear that my first wife Sally Brampton lost her battle with depression over the weekend.” Tweets mourning Brampton first began to appear on the morning of May 11.
Among those paying tribute is former UK political kingmaker Alastair Campbell who wrote, “Sally Brampton fought so hard for herself, and for others. For herself to stay alive,and for those who don’t get depression to understand it.” While celebrated novelist Tony Parsons wrote, “It’s easy to be nice to people doing well. Sally Brampton – maybe more than anyone I ever met – held out a hand to the people who were down.”
Brampton had been absent from Twitter since April 9. On her profile, she described herself as “Writer and journalist, Psychologies columnist. Author of Shoot the Damn Dog (a book about depression, not hunting).” She gives her location as “By the sea.”
She began her writing career in 1979 when Brampton began writing for Vogue magazine. In 1985, Brampton helped to set up Elle magazine in the UK, serving as editor for five years before leaving to write full time.
Her daughter, Molly Powell, 23, wrote in Glamour magazine about an instance where her mother had attempted suicide. Powell also said that when she was 17, she also “became ill with depression.”
According to her LinkedIn page, Powell works as an editorial assistant for Whitefox publishing in London.
Brampton was married three times, to Nigel Cole, to Molly’s father Jonathan Powell and to Tom Wnek. In the acknowledgements section of Shoot the Damn Dog, Brampton wrote about Wnek, “Thank you to my husband, Tom Wnek, for complete and enduring love. Until I met you, I did not know such happiness was possible.”