Johnson & Johnson heiress Casey Johnson’s biggest regret, she once said, was not taking up Paris Hilton on her offer to co-star on The Simple Life. “I kick myself in the butt every day,” she told Vanity Fair in 2006, noting that the show made the girl who did take the part, Nicole Richie, famous.
She’s famous now. Two days after Johnson was found dead of unknown, probably drug-related causes at her Los Angeles mansion on Monday, the “Inside Story” of her “erratic, troubled life” is the most-read story on People.com, and for the second day in a row both New York tabloids have dedicated their covers to the “poor little rich girl,” as well as put together sizable online photo galleries that play up Johnson’s passing resemblance to Marilyn Monroe. Meanwhile, columnists like Joanna Molloy and Cindy Adams, who gleefully reported on the antics of the “wacky” “train wreck” heiress so much that Johnson claimed her move to the West Coast was in part to escape them, are bemoaning her “tragic” death and the fact that she didn’t get “enough love,” respectively.
Meanwhile, old friends of the heiress, who was reportedly dead for seven days before anyone found her body, are publicly expressing their grief. “I am in complete shock,” Johnson’s ex-girlfriend Courtney Semel, who allegedly lit Johnson’s hair on fire last year, told the Post.
“Casey was one of the sweetest girls I knew,” socialite Dori Cooperman told the Daily Beast. “She was amazing and generous to her friends … [She] will be missed. This is a tragedy.” “It’s so upsetting and it’s so sad,” Brittny Gastineau told People. “I saw her a month ago. She was totally fine and happy, and it was all cool…She loved getting her nails done.” And while in her final days it seems Casey spent most of her time with slithy MTV personality Tila Tequila, to whom she was reportedly “engaged,” and “a revolving door of shady-looking characters,” according to her neighbors in Los Angeles, yesterday, tout le peroxided Hollywood gathered at Nicole Richie’s mansion to remember what a wonderful person she was. It’s all very nice. It’s just too bad Johnson’s not around to see it.
Related: Heiress vs. Heiress [VF]