Hong Kong socialite Sandra d'Auriol plunges to her death at plastic surgery clinic

Sandra d'Auriol was listed among Hong Kong Tatler's list of top 500 people in the city

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 January, 2014, 4:29am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 January, 2014, 10:03am

A Hong Kong socialite and jewellery designer has plunged to her death from the top floor of a prestigious Californian medical clinic where she had just received treatment.

Friends of Sandra d'Auriol last night confirmed an investigation into the death of the 53-year-old Briton - who had lived in Hong Kong for more than 30 years - was under way after what one described as a situation that was "shocking and difficult to take in".

This friend of the family said: "As you would expect, the family are utterly devastated. This is something no one could imagine ever happening."

Quoting the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, CBS News reported that d'Auriol went to the top of the Camden Medical Arts building in Beverly Hills last Wednesday, hours after having plastic surgery, and, despite attempts by police to talk her down, plunged to her death three hours later. She was naked when she was found.

D'Auriol was born in India to British parents and was married to Frenchman Yan d'Auriol, a former L'Oreal executive and a founding partner of Hong Kong private equity firm Leitmotiv.

She was a director of the Child Welfare Scheme and was trained by Asprey, jewellers to the British Royal family. Among her prominent Hong Kong clients were Michele Li, founder of The Wedding Company.

Her jewellery, with a focus on jade, was exhibited in London, Paris, New York and Milan, with all the profits donated to children's, women's and environmental charities.

The family is no stranger to tragedy. In 2004, Yan d'Auriol set up a tennis scholarship in memory of his 12-year-old son, Teo, who drowned in a swimming pool in Bali that year. Teo d'Auriol, a budding tennis player, had attended the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, which turned Andre Agassi and Maria Sharapova into champions.

Sandra d'Auriol's biography on the Child Welfare Scheme website says "she has been involved with CWS since 1999 and despite being a wonderful and busy mother, wife and friend, she always has plenty of time to help anyone in need". She was also on Hong Kong Tatler's list of top 500 people in the city.