Daughter of Vidal Sassoon dies of drug overdose after New Year party

Arifa Akbar
Saturday 05 January 2002 01:00 GMT

Catya Sassoon, the hard-living and hard-partying daughter of the celebrity hairdresser Vidal, died of a suspected drug overdose after a New Year's Eve party.

Some would call it an almost predictable end to a life riddled with excess. A former actress and model, Ms Sassoon, 33, was born into a high-achieving world in a Los Angeles household.

As the first child to the British hairdresser, Ms Sassoon was considered something of a tearaway compared to her three siblings. At 13, she looked the picture of rebellion, sporting a ring in her nose and a purple and white mohican haircut – which her father may or may not have approved of.

She left Beverly Hills High School at 14 and was married a year later, before her 16th birthday, to an Italian film producer. The marriage was, unsurprisingly, shortlived.

In 1985, aged 16, she left for New York to become a model after having acted in her first film, a cheap melodrama called Tuff Tuff.

During her early years in New York, she could always depend on her father, who had worked industriously to elevate himself from a small business in London to gain international recognition, to bail her out of any scraps or financial mishaps. When Mr Sassoon heard his daughter complaining about her living conditions in New York – she shared a house with a dozen other wannabe models – he swiftly bought her an expensive penthouse apartment across the street.

Her natural good looks, however, proved perfect for the industry and shortly after joining the fashionable Prestige Agency she found success. Standing at 5ft 8ins tall and only eight stone in weight, she had a svelte figure said to be enhanced by cosmetic surgery.

As many others have been, she was drawn into the lifestyle the modelling industry offered. By the time she was 21, she was allegedly hooked on drugs and a regular at detox clinics.

Even so, "Cat", as she was known to friends, seemed set for a life of success. She married again to a man called Joe Myers and had three children – twin girls, Mycca and Syke, and a son, London.

But it was to end soon after she attended a party in Hollywood on New Year's Eve with her husband. Hilly Elkins, her manager, said she complained of feeling "woozy and left the party and went home". When Mr Myers checked on her in the morning, she was dead.

Her mother said that she had just finished "a year free from a drug habit that was so tough there were times I felt I was going to lose her".

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