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World Shattered boyfriend of Miss Universe finalist, 23, who took her own life after struggling to come to terms with the death of her 'mother figure' issues gut-wrenching tribute to 'his soulmate'

18:48  26 may  2020
18:48  26 may  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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The partner of a Miss Universe finalist who tragically took her own life has shared a heartbreaking tribute to the 23-year-old. 

a person holding a large teddy bear posing for the camera: Amber-Lee Friis had spent two months under strict lockdown orders in New Zealand following a whirlwind trip to America with her boyfriend (pictured together) in January © Provided by Daily Mail Amber-Lee Friis had spent two months under strict lockdown orders in New Zealand following a whirlwind trip to America with her boyfriend (pictured together) in January Amber-Lee Friis was one of 20 finalists in the 2018 Miss Universe New Zealand competition and travelled to Thailand as part of the experience. 

The Miss World New Zealand Facebook page confirmed Ms Friis had passed away suddenly on May 18. 

Her partner, Lane Conroy, has shared a touching tribute to the young whom he lived with in West Auckland after having met eight years ago through friends. 

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'She was my soul mate,' Mr Conroy said on Monday, according to Stuff

Amber-Lee Friis, Miss Universe New Zealand Finalist, Dies at 23

  Amber-Lee Friis, Miss Universe New Zealand Finalist, Dies at 23 Former Miss Universe New Zealand finalist Amber-Lee Friis has died, her agent in Auckland shared on Facebook earlier this week. She was 23. "It is with immense sadness we acknowledge the sudden passing of a beautiful and talented Wahine Amber-lee Friis," The Talent Tree wrote of the 2018 Miss Universe NZ (Miss World New Zealand) finalist. "Our sincere aroha and condolences to Amber-Lee's family and friends. R.I.P beautiful lady.

a person wearing a black shirt: Ms Friis loved the beach and spending hours in the water was a favourite pastime, along with riding her pink dirt bike © Provided by Daily Mail Ms Friis loved the beach and spending hours in the water was a favourite pastime, along with riding her pink dirt bike

Mr Conroy's sister Jaime who was a good friend of Ms Friis said would be sorely missed. 

'We were just so thankful to have had her in our lives. She loved my brother and we loved how much she adored him. She was just amazing and we shared a special connection,' Jaime said.

A tribute including a drive through Auckland to picturesque French Bay was organised before a ceremony was held at Waikumete Cemetery for Ms Friis on Monday. 

'We spent a lot of time at French Bay, for a year we went there almost every day,' Mr Conroy said. 

He said she loved the beach and spending hours in the water was a favourite pastime, along with riding her pink dirt bike. 

'She had a giggle and laugh that no one could mimic and she just lit up the room. Even when she wasn't in the best place, she made sure she was there for others.'  

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Ms Friis started an online fashion label with Mr Conroy in early March as the coronavirus crisis swept the globe.

She confessed it had been difficult to get the business off the ground during the pandemic.

'Due to the virus outbreak we are restricted from receiving bulk shipment orders, so clothing is limited for the time being,' she told followers of the brand on March 26. 

Oksana Akinshina in a pink flower: Pictured: Amber-Lee Friis who took her own life aged just 23 © Provided by Daily Mail Pictured: Amber-Lee Friis who took her own life aged just 23 a man holding a sign: Devastated friends of Ms Friis paid tribute to the 'feisty and kind soul' in the wake of her tragic death © Provided by Daily Mail Devastated friends of Ms Friis paid tribute to the 'feisty and kind soul' in the wake of her tragic death

'What a great time to start a company! Said no one ever.' 

The loss of her 'mother figure' during the COVID-19 lockdown was equally as devastating. 

Ms Friis said she felt 'part of [her] heart' was taken when she learned Ms Olason died after 16 months of trying to recover from a devastating stroke.  

'Mumma K, you were who I needed when I was younger,' she confessed in a touching tribute on April 14.

She credited Ms Olason for 'giving [her] the courage to join a male dominated course' and thanked her for 'showing which boys to stay away from'.

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Ms Olason, just 43 when she died, would often pick Ms Friis up when she was young and arguing with her mother, offering her shelter and a shoulder to cry on.

'You were the mum I called my second mum, and I knew I could always count on you.

'I promise to keep our promises,' she said.   

a couple of people that are wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: One friend, who helped to organise the tribute, shared a video of the pair giggling while laying in a field, and said it was her 'favourite memory' of them © Provided by Daily Mail One friend, who helped to organise the tribute, shared a video of the pair giggling while laying in a field, and said it was her 'favourite memory' of them

On May 12, just six days before her tragic death, Ms Friis shared a photo to her business Instagram account with the caption: 'Young and naive'.

The photo featured a girl standing between two paths, one offering the 'happiest place on earth' with green grass, rolling hills and sunshine, while the other path was dark and empty.

A week before that, she'd shared a photo of a butterfly trapped in a cage and captioned the post as 'conformity'.

Devastated friends of Ms Friis paid tribute to the 'feisty and kind soul' in the wake of her tragic death.

On Monday, she was farewelled in an emotional send off where friends revved their cars causing plumes of pink smoke to billow into the air.

The group made banners and signs telling Ms Friis to 'fly high' and promising to always love her. 

a person posing for a picture: The up-and-coming runway model was a finalist for Miss Universe New Zealand in 2018, and was candid about her tough upbringing and struggles with confidence after she was bullied as a teenager © Provided by Daily Mail The up-and-coming runway model was a finalist for Miss Universe New Zealand in 2018, and was candid about her tough upbringing and struggles with confidence after she was bullied as a teenager

Hope Neilson, who helped to organise the tribute, shared a video of the pair giggling while laying in a field, and said it was her 'favourite memory' of them.

VIDEO Death of Guy Bedos: Muriel Robin pays tribute to his "big brother"

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'Forever in our hearts... One of the happiest days ever,' she wrote on the post.

In the February before her death, Ms Friis shared a tribute to rocker Keith Flint, who took his own life in March 2019.

She spoke of attending his final concert, where they shared an intense moment. 

'I could feel his energy and his burning spirit connecting with me,' she said. 

'He [previously] stated that when he is at an age were he's comfortable with his existence and simply doesn't want to go through the hardships of growing old, when he's satisfied with his life achievements, he will exit life on a high note and on his own terms.' 

Ms Friis previously spoke of her torment growing up in Auckland, where her cohort bullied her for having 'slanty eyes' and tanned skin.

She was called 'Chimoan' and developed poor eating habits which saw her weight skyrocket to 96kgs by the time she was 16.

On Monday, she was farewelled in an emotional send off where friends revved their cars causing plumes of pink smoke to billow into the air © Provided by Daily Mail On Monday, she was farewelled in an emotional send off where friends revved their cars causing plumes of pink smoke to billow into the air a person holding a sign posing for the camera: Her friends made banners and signs telling Ms Friis to 'fly high' and promising to always love her © Provided by Daily Mail Her friends made banners and signs telling Ms Friis to 'fly high' and promising to always love her

'Never in a million years' did she consider one day landing the coveted title of Miss Universe. 

At just 15 years old, Ms Friis moved out of home with her boyfriend and studied mechanics while working three nights a week at Pizza Hut to make ends meet.

At the height of her career, she told Stuff there were nights she'd go hungry because there was no food to eat as a teenager.

Death of Guy Bedos: the just tribute of François Hollande

 Death of Guy Bedos: the just tribute of François Hollande © SIPA Death of Guy Bedos: the perfect tribute of François Hollande Not tender with François Hollande during his lifetime, Guy Bedos was entitled to a frank tribute from the former President of the Republic, who recalled "the values" and "the battles" led by the humorist. The terrible news of Thursday 28 May was this: Guy Bedos died from a long illness . The announcement of his death was made by his son, Nicolas Bedos, on Twitter.

'I remember sitting in my room one night and thinking how hard life could be. At a young age you feel the world is weighing on your shoulders,' she said.  

'I had a negative outlook on everything. I pictured myself as being an angry, fat, old lady but then I thought: This is not what I want to be like,' she said.

a woman posing for a picture: Ms Friis was represented by The Talent Tree model agency, who said they were 'devastated' by the young woman's passing © Provided by Daily Mail Ms Friis was represented by The Talent Tree model agency, who said they were 'devastated' by the young woman's passing

Determined to get back on top of her weight once and for all, she joined a gym - and within six months had slimmed down and toned up.

By sharing her story, she wanted young women to draw hope from her experiences after she found the strength to turn her life around.

'I was like a lost sheep before I started writing down goals and started focusing on what I wanted to do. I felt stuck and helpless. No one ever has to feel that way,' she said.

New Zealand Police confirmed they attended a sudden death on Monday. The case has been referred to the Coroner.

Ms Friis was represented by The Talent Tree model agency, who said they were 'devastated' by the young woman's passing.

'We've lost a beautiful young lady who is going to be sorely missed,' said owner Tracey-Maree Houia. 

Miss World New Zealand CEO Nigel Godfrey described her as 'feisty', 'genuine', and said 'her heart was most definitely in the right place'.

'When she came to us, she was incredibly honest about her background and her upbringing and the challenges she had gone through. And that's what made her in our eyes somebody who would really benefit from the journey - and she did.' 

If you or anyone you know needs help:

Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800

MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978

Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467

Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636

Headspace on 1800 650 890

ReachOut at au.reachout.com

Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) on 1800 008 774

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© REUTERS / Lucas Jackson George Floyd's coffin rests in front of the stage installed for his tribute ceremony in June in Minneapolis. Family, religious or political leaders and celebrities gathered at the North Central Christian University of Minneapolis to honor the memory of George Floyd, whose death at 46 years under the knee of a white police officer on May 25 unleashed a deep wave of anger across the United States. The ceremony, in the presence of black personalities like rapper T.I.

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