Bryan Ferry has spoken of the sudden death of his ex-wife, the model and socialite Lucy Birley, who passed away aged 58 on Monday (July 23).
Speaking on Twitter, the former Roxy Music frontman said: “I’m much saddened and shocked by this tragic news of Lucy’s death. The family request that our privacy be respected during this difficult time.”
"I’m much saddened and shocked by this tragic news of Lucy’s death. The family request that our privacy be respected during this difficult time." Bryan Ferry
— Bryan Ferry (@bryanferry) July 24, 2018
The former model died while on holiday in Ireland. The cause is yet to be confirmed. A family statement said that she died “surrounded by her beloved dogs, Daisy, Peg and Daphne. Her husband, Robin, and her sons are understandably devastated and request that their privacy be respected during this difficult time.”
Birley, formerly known as Lucy Helmore, was married to Ferry, 22 years her senior, from 1982 until 2003. The two had four children together, Otis, Isaac, Tara and Merlin.
She appeared on the front cover of Roxy Music’s 1982 album Avalon, and has been credited with helping Ferry to recover from cocaine addiction.
She remarried in 2006 to Robin Birley, the son of Lady Annabel Goldsmith, and largely retreated from public view in the years that followed.
The Times notes that Birley’s friend and fellow socialite Annabel Neilson died of a heart attack less than two weeks ago. The two were among the London fashion set that also included famed designer Alexander McQueen and magazine editor Isabella Blow, both of whom would take their own lives.