Ashley Anne Riggitano, who committed suicide Wednesday by jumping off the George Washington Bridge between New York and Fort Lee, N.J., picked her 22nd birthday as the day to end her life.
Riggitano also had been told to commit suicide by one of the five women she disinvited to her funeral, according to the New York Post.
The five women are Beth Bassil, Teresa Castaldo, Samantha Horneff, Alison Tinari, and Victoria Van Thunen, the Post reported. Van Thunen was Riggitano's business partner.
Riggitano knew the five women separately. She and Van Thunen co-founded their jewelry-design company called Missfits; she knew Horneff from New Jersey; and she attended LIM College (formerly the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising) in New York with Bassil and Castaldo.
The media-described fashionista and Tinari were apparently not closely acquainted, but the two had nonetheless engaged in a feud via Facebook private messages last month, when, the Post said, Tinari told Riggitano: “Go try to kill yourself on Xanax again, you unstable loser. Go f--k yourself and never speak to me again.”
Riggitano's body was recovered from the Hudson River soon after she jumped at about 4:40 p.m. EST. She left on the bridge a Louis Vuitton bag, where she kept a kind of suicide diary detailing the torment that she felt.
“To any funeral, these people should not be allowed based upon words and actions,” Riggitano wrote in reference to the five women.
Riggitano mentioned three other people by their first names, calling them "only people I love & always there to tell sorry."
However, she said, "All my other 'friends' are in it for gossip."
Riggitano had a history that included at least one previous suicide attempt, and medications such as Adderall and Klonopin were supposedly found in her designer bag after her death, the Post reported.
Tinari told the Post that last month it was not her who was harassing Riggitano, but Riggitano who was harassing her. Tinara indicated Riggitano was apparently upset over her friendship with the jewelry designer’s boyfriend, aspiring race-car driver Drew Heissenbuttel.
"It’s really horrible what happened. I feel really bad for her family. I never went after her; she went after me," Tinari said. "The only thing I’m ashamed of is what I said about her overdosing on Xanax. I shouldn’t have said that."
At the time, Riggitano responded to Tinari by referencing Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University freshman who killed himself in 2010 by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after having a sexual encounter with another man recorded by his roommate, as recounted by the Daily Mail.
"Thats called a threat, and a suicidal threat the police dont take that lightly since the boy in ridgewood killed because of someones words," the Post quoted Riggitano as writing.
Meanwhile, Van Thunen supposedly wrote a Facebook post hours before Riggitano's suicide, saying: "Those who incessantly blame others as the cause of their issues should perhaps take a step back and reevaluate these situations. The common thread may be that 'they' aren’t the problem, but rather that you are."
A recent graduate of LIM, Riggitano was an intern designer with Alex Woo Inc. at the time of her death. She had also interned with other designer brands, including Tommy Hilfiger and Nicole Miller, according to her LinkedIn page.
The Mail spoke with Alex Woo in a telephone interview Thursday. He said Riggitano, who began interning for the company part time in January, appeared happy when she came to work.
"She always had a smile on her face,’ she didn’t look depressed," Woo said. He added that the company is "stunned" by the news of her passing.
"I think everybody were really sweet to her," Woo said. "She didn’t look like she was the kind of person who was bullied at all."
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