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Many of us were saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Daisy Coleman, the Missouri college student whose alleged rape at the age of 14 was documented in the Netflix documentary Audrie & Daisy. Coleman was found dead of an apparent suicide at the age of 23 on August 4 following a wellness check from the Lakeside Police Department. Now, a few weeks later, it’s been reported that before her death, Coleman was dealing with a stalker and had taken legal action.
According to People, Daisy Coleman filed a harassment complaint hours before her suicide. The alleged harassment reportedly began in December and had been documented by Coleman in social media posts that could only be viewed by friends and followers. In the social media posts, which People was able to view, Coleman claims the police knew of her complaints of stalking and harassment. The trade is currently withholding the identity of the man Coleman claimed was harassing her, and also that his identity could not be confirmed.
Coleman reportedly detailed an encounter in a Facebook post shortly before her passing. In the message, she alleged that the man had appeared at her home multiple times and banged on the door. In the post, Coleman also stated her belief that the man had stolen the keys to her apartment and had attempted to gain access to it.
Daisy Coleman’s claims of the police’s knowledge have been refuted by John Romero, the public information officer of the Lakewood Police Department. He asserts that Daisy Coleman didn’t file any reports until the day of her death. The complaint was reportedly filed when the police arrived at her home for the wellness check. Romero also confirmed to the trade that the department believes Coleman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Friends of Daisy Coleman also spoke with People, with one claiming that the 23-year-old feared for her life before she died. Another friend stated that the media shouldn’t point to Coleman’s rape as the cause of suicide. Instead, she believes the blame should fall on her harasser:
Every media [outlet] is blaming her suicide on her rape, and ignoring that she was going through so much before her suicide, and not putting any blame on this man for harassing her. She would rather kill herself than let this man kill her.
Daisy Coleman’s alleged rape took place at a Missouri house party back in 2012, which was held by Matthew Barnett, one of her school’s star football players. Coleman and her best friend Paige Parkhurst, who was 13 at the time, were allegedly raped in the basement of the home.
The story would gain national attention when Audrie and Daisy debuted on Netflix in 2016. Up until her death, Coleman had served as an advocate for sexual assault victims and had founded the sexual assault prevention organization SafeBAE.
We here at CinemaBlend extend our thoughts to the loved ones of Daisy Coleman during this difficult time.