Suicide • Judge gives permission to gather evidence from brother of fashion designer who hanged herself.
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Underwriters who are trying to avoid paying out $12.7 million in insurance to the Rolling Stones are reaching into Utah for evidence about the mental health of Mick Jagger's girlfriend before her suicide in March.
The 12 underwriters have received permission from a federal court in Salt Lake City to gather testimony and documents from the brother of L'Wren Scott, whose suicide at age 49 in New York City prompted the legendary rock group to postpone a concert tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Scott's brother, Randall Bambrough, of Ogden, said Thursday he did not know about the federal court case naming him and had not received a subpoena to provide testimony and documents about his sister. He declined to comment further.
Scott, a renowned fashion designer who also turned heads as a 6-foot-3 fashion model, was born in Salt Lake City in 1964 and graduated from Roy High. Her body was found March 17 in her New York City apartment kneeling with a scarf around her throat that was tied to a door knob, news reports said.
Jagger at the time was in Australia preparing for a series of concerts, but became grief stricken after he was informed of Scott's death. Jagger was "diagnosed as suffering from acute traumatic stress disorder" and was advised by doctors not to perform for at least 30 days, according to documents filed in the court case in Utah.
The Stones postponed the Australia/New Zealand part of the tour, which was to have begun March 19 with a show in Perth and continue with six others scheduled into April.
Before the tour, which included previous stops in Asia, the group had taken out a $23.9 million policy to be paid in the event that shows were canceled for causes that included the death of family members or others named in the policy.
Among those listed for Jagger were Scott, as well as ex-wives and girlfriends, seven children and four grandchildren, according to the insurance policy that was included among court papers.
After Scott's death, the Rolling Stones filed a claim of $12.7 million for losses due to the cancellation or postponement of concerts. But the underwriters denied the claim and the Stones sued them in the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, in London.
In denying the payout, the underwriters said it didn't appear that Jagger had actually been examined by doctors after Scott's suicide and that the insurance claim seemed to be based instead on a letter from a doctor who did not personally examine Jagger and was not a psychiatrist.
In addition, the underwriters pointed to provisions of the policy to assert that Scott's death by her own hand was "not beyond her control."
"Ms. Scott intended to, and did, commit suicide and her death was therefore not 'sudden and unforeseen,' " according to their answer to the lawsuit, which also said that she may have been suffering from a pre-existing mental illness and, therefore, her death might not be covered under the policy.
The underwriters are seeking information on possible illnesses, treatments and the circumstances of her death.
The same underwriters petitioned federal court in New York seeking the same type of information from Scott's former personal assistant, Brittany Penebre, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and Adam Glassman, the executor of Scott's estate.
The Rolling Stones' Los Angeles public relations firm did not return an email seeking comment. Nor did the Utah attorney for the insurance underwriters.
Scott began creating her own clothes as a gangly teenager and eventually moved to Paris, where she found work as a fashion model. She relocated to Los Angeles, where she changed careers to become a creative director of fashion advertising campaigns and a film costume designer.
She met Jagger in 2001, according to The New York Times. In 2006, she launched a company to sell her own designer dresses, handbags, sunglasses and perfume.
Scott also is survived by a sister, Jan Shane, who lives in Utah.
The underwriters filed a petition in federal court in Salt Lake City on Oct. 10, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells signed an order a week later granting their request to gather evidence from Bambrough.
The Stones began a new tour of Australia and New Zealand on Oct. 25.