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Close friend says the late Tara Palmer-Tomkinson was in a 'dark place'

tara palmer-tomkinson

Ivan Massow told This Morning that he hadn't heard from the late Tara Palmer-Tomkinson in over a month, which was always a bad sign

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson was in a dark place when she died, a close friend of the socialite has said.

The former It girl was found dead, aged 45, at her London home just months after revealing she had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Ivan Massow, the former chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), told ITV’s This Morning that the pair were 'unlikely friends' after they 'hit it off' when they shared a car to a charity event at Ascot.

“It was amazing and we were inseparable and remained close ever since,” he said.

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson (Ian West/PA)

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson (Ian West/PA)


But he revealed that in recent weeks it had been difficult to get hold of Tara, who, due to her years of drug abuse, had undergone reconstruction surgery to her nose in 2006 after her septum collapsed.

On diagnosis of the tumour, Ivan said: “She was facing a lot of problems… one, it was very hard for her to stay off the drinking and things, and then there was lots of surgery around her mouth and bits and pieces – her nose kept giving her problems.

“She was terribly conscious about that, and then there was this (tumour) on top… so it was another worry.

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson (Fiona Hanson/PA)

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson (Fiona Hanson/PA)


“And she was never comfortable becoming an older person. It was hard for her to see herself in that role, and she was very frail.”

He told This Morning: “I hadn’t seen her for over a month, and it’s been hard to reach her.

“With people like this, you have to sort of let go with love… you can’t badger them.”

Asked if he thought that she had returned to a 'dark place', Ivan said: “Well, I know that every time I didn’t hear from her, that’s where she was… ”

This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby also spoke about her time with the socialite, revealing that Tara gave her a Chanel diamond ring, on a whim, the first time they met.

“She just had that special energy about her,” said Holly.

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson


“She was just so funny and incredibly kind. I always remember that she was very generous with her time but with her spirit also.

“The first time I met her… I was having dinner and she came over to my table and said ‘You know a very good friend of mine’ and we started chatting and as she’s talking to me, she’s gesticulating with her hands, and I noticed this diamond bling, gorgeous ring, and I’m like watching her hand like a magpie and said: ‘Your ring is beautiful’.

“She said ‘Oh this, this is just a bit of toot from Chanel’, and she dropped it in my champagne glass and went: ‘It’s yours’.

Holly Willoughby attending the National Television Awards 2017 (Matt Crossick/PA Wire/PA Images)

Holly Willoughby (Matt Crossick/PA Wire/PA Images)


“I said: ‘No, I can’t take that!’ and she replied: ‘If you don’t take it, I’ll throw it across the restaurant’.”

Tara revealed in November that she was being treated for a non-malignant growth in her pituitary gland and had expressed fears that she would die after being told of her condition.

She was diagnosed with the tumour last January after she returned from a ski trip.