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Brandon Truaxe was found dead at the age of 40 after a year that saw him ousted from Deciem, the skin care company he founded.
According to an internal company email reviewed by Vox, Acting CEO Nicola Kilner wrote that Truaxe “passed away over the weekend.”
A spokesperson for the Toronto Police told WWD that officers found Truaxe’s body after receiving a call about a “jumper” on Sunday afternoon.
Riyadh Sweedan, who lived with Truaxe and was his boyfriend, told the National Postthat he fell from a condominium building in Downtown Toronto.
“I don’t think he jumped,” Sweedan told the outlet.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Deciem Announced Death of Founder Brandon Truaxe
Truaxe’s death was first reported by Vox, citing an email sent by acting CEO Nicola Kilner.
According to Vox, the email said:
I can’t believe I am typing these words. Brandon has passed away over the weekend. Heartbroken doesn’t come close to how I, and how I know many of you will be feeling.
All offices, warehouses, factories and stores please close today and take the time to cry with sadness, smile at the good times we had, reflect on what his genius built and hug your loved ones that little harder.
We are all in disbelief and shock but I will be in touch again very soon.
I love you all incredibly much, as did he.
The company later posted a photo of Truaxe, who was ousted from the company last year, on Instagram.
“Brandon, our founder and friend. You touched our hearts, inspired our minds and made us believe that anything is possible,” the post said. “Thank you for every laugh, every learning and every moment of your genius. Whilst we can’t imagine a world without you, we promise to take care of each other and will work hard to continue your vision. May you finally be at peace. Love, (forever) your DECIEM.”
2. Toronto Police Found Truaxe After Responding to Report of a ‘Jumper’
A Toronto Police spokesperson told WWD that officers found Truaxe’s body after responding to a report of a “jumper” at a building at the intersection of Mill Street and Parliament Street.
The incident was not considered suspicious, the spokesperson said.
The death comes after Canada’s Financial Post reported in December that Truaxe had been hospitalized for mental health issues.
Truaxe denied that he was diagnosed with a mental health issue but admitted taking various drugs.
3. Truaxe’s Boyfriend Says He Thinks Death Was an Accident
Police have not said whether the death was the result of an accident or a suicide.
Truaxe’s longtime colleague and live-in boyfriend Riyadh Swedaan told the National Post, “I don’t think he jumped. I think he fell.”
Sweedan said Truaxe had been out of the hospital since mid-November and was not receiving psychiatrist care at the time of his death.
Sweedan said Truaxe had recently been abusing crystal meth.
4. Truaxe’s Death Comes After He Was Ousted by Company He Founded
Truaxe was ousted from the company he founded in 2018 after Estee Lauder, a minority investor in the firm, took legal action against him after he posted on Instagram in October that the company must immediately be shut down because of “financial crimes” that he had committed, Vox reported.
An Estee Lauder attorney told a judge that the founder “has essentially lit the company on fire,” the CBC reported.
The judge forced Truaxe out and appointed co-CEO Nicola Kilner to run the company. The judge later issued a restraining order against Truaxe after he sent threatening emails to Estee Lauder officers.
“Brandon Truaxe was a true genius, and we are incredibly saddened by the news of his passing,” Estee Lauder said in a statement following his death. “As the visionary behind Deciem, he positively impacted millions of people around the world with his creativity, brilliance and innovation. This is a profound loss for us all, and our hearts are with Nicola Kilner and the entire Deciem family.
5. Truaxe Was Hospitalized for Mental Health Issues
Truaxe had “frequently been hospitalized” for mental illness last year, twice in the United Kingdom and once in Canada, the National Post reported.
In a tribunal hearing following his detention in London last year, doctors said they believed Truaxe was suffering from bipolar disorder and related abuse of crystal meth and magic mushrooms.
His longtime boyfriend said Truaxe was abusing meth and not receiving psychiatric care at the time of his death.
Truaxe repeatedly bosted bizarre videos to Instagram in the weeks leading up to his death. “Many were either paranoid or hallucinatory,” The National Post reported. “In many of his recent videos, he appeared to be raging and complaining about his corporate dispute with Deciem, his mentor and partner Pasquale Cusano, a Vancouver jeweller who publishes the luxury Nuvo magazine, and top executives of Estée Lauder, including Andrew Ross and Leonard Lauder, the elderly chairman emeritus and son of founders Estée and Joseph.”
Truaxe was born Ali Roshan in Tehran, Iran on June 19, 1978. His mother died of cancer when he was young and his estranged father lives in Iran. Truaxe denied that he was gay and that he had mental illness before his death.