Miss Universe New Zealand finalist Amber-Lee Friis allegedly died of suicide at age 23

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In his tribute post, Miss World New Zealand CEO Nigel Godfrey describes the late beauty queen as "a force to be reckoned with," and calls her sudden death "a terrible tragedy."

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Heartbreaking news comes from the beauty pageant world. Amber-Lee Friis, a former Miss Universe New Zealand finalist, died suddenly at the age of 23 on Monday, May 18, and the Daily Mail reported that she committed suicide.

The young model, who previously spoke about being severely bullied at school, was one of 20 finalists to compete for the Miss Universe New Zealand title in 2018. Police confirmed that she responded to a "sudden death" on May 18, and since then he has referred death to the coroner.

Friis' former agency, The Talent Tree, brought the tragic news to light. "It is with immense sadness that we acknowledge the sudden death of a beautiful and talented Wahine Amber-lee Friis," the agency's Facebook statement read. "Our sincere thanks and condolences to the family and friends of Amber-Lee. R.I.P beautiful lady."

Upon learning of Friis's sudden death, Miss World New Zealand CEO Nigel Godfrey turned to Facebook to confirm his passing. Tragically she passed away yesterday, the world is a lesser place without her, "he wrote." He had so much more to give and it is a terrible tragedy that he is not here to realize his limitless potential. RIP Amber Lee You've left us far, too soon. "

In the post tribute, Godfrey also shared his memory of Friis. "A couple of years ago, when we were running 'the other', Amber-Lee Friis took over our lives, he was a force to be reckoned with," he recalled. "This was one of the many international stories it generated after entering, and it is very sad to read it now."

Describing Friss as a fighting and beautiful soul who "definitely took no prisoners," she continued: "She was genuine, honest, and had an energy that few possess, her heart was definitely in the right place." She added: "We liked and respected her and were very proud to call her friend long after the competition was over."

Looking at Friis' accomplishments, Godfrey praised her, "Amber Lee turned her life, and indeed her experience with us, and an incredibly positive force for good. In the years since she has been loyal and supportive, we value that for on top of everything. "

In 2018, Friis opened up to NZ Stuff to overcome her struggles with self-confidence after years of being bullied about her tanned skin and slanted eyes. "I remember sitting in my room one night and thinking how difficult life could be. At a young age, you feel like the world is weighing on your shoulders," he said.

"I had a negative view of everything. I imagined myself as an angry, fat old woman, but then I thought: this is not what I want to be," recalled the model, before revealing that she made the decision to set goals, save money and exercise when she turned 18. About her participation in the Miss Universe NZ contest, she remembered being the only contestant with tattoos and an ear stretcher.