Suicide suspected in Coyne's death

2010-08-18 19:19

Cape Town - The death of South Africa's Weakest Link quizmaster Fiona Coyne, 45, was suspected to be a suicide, a family spokesperson said on Wednesday.

"At this stage it is a suspected suicide, but until the official investigation is complete we cannot say for sure that is the case. No foul play is suspected," said Kee-Leen Irvine.

"Her family are all in a deep state of shock and have requested the media respect their privacy in this difficult time."

Coyne's body was found at her Fish Hoek home by her housekeeper on Wednesday morning.

Police earlier confirmed her death.

"Yes, I can confirm that," said Captain Stephen Knap.

Irvine, who is also the producer of the television game show, said she was shocked by the news.

"Fiona was a close friend and loved by so many people. This is a huge loss for all of us," she wrote in an email.

Coyne is survived by her mother and two brothers.

Notes found

According to News24, quoting Die Burger newspaper, two notes were found at Coyne's home, one to her mother and the other to her domestic worker.

The report did not elaborate on the contents of the notes.

Born in Springs in 1965, she trained as an actor and was part of the Capab drama group for seven years, according to Who's Who Southern Africa.

In an interview with SA Career Focus magazine in 2008, she told how she had worked at a sanctuary for elephants and rhinos in Kenya for four years and then went on to coach and lecture in the corporate arena.

She published a book Who Moved My Ladder? The Working Woman’s Guide to Success and worked as a personal branding consultant and communications specialist.

In the Weakest Link, Coyne was styled in the image of Anne Robinson who hosted the British version of the show dressed in black with a steady repertoire of stinging comments directed at contestants.

It was syndicated to many countries including the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India and Mexico, according to Rapid Blue, the production company which did the show in South Africa.

Last year, Coyne appeared in the Janice Honeyman pantomine The Adventures of Pinocchio as Katarina the cat.

Her agent Sharon Kruyer of Famous Faces said she was "devastated".