Elizabeth Outram committed suicide on her 30th birthday after being “caught on camera” switching tags on a leather jacket and facing national television exposure.
Outram’s friends reportedly tried to save her after they found her hanging and unconscious in her home after a night out celebrating her birthday in September.
In an inquisition, Poplar coroner’s court heard Outram had been suffering from depression, anxiety and panic attacks since 2007.
Outram wasn’t able to afford a leather jacket, so she switched the tags at a TK Maxx store, but she was caught and charged with fraud. The crime was captured by a television production company that was filming the store for a reality show.
Outram’s sister Alexandra told the inquest, “She was traumatized by it and even further she was filmed by a production company. They hounded her, kept sending her messages and calling her, she told them she was receiving psychiatric treatment and she wasn’t well but it was just ignored.”
Outram first tried to commit suicide by overdosing on her antidepressants on August 14, 2014, when she was due in court on the fraud charges. She succeeding in taking her own life a month later.
“(She) thought her life was over. She was so embarrassed to even tell me,” Alexandra said. “When she was taken into the back room and questioned they were filming her. She said ‘You can’t film me’ and they said ‘We can’. She said she was ill but they did not call her carer — me.
“Afterwards they sent her messages telling her they could use it and they were going to.”
The production company has since assured Alexandra they would not broadcast the footage of her sister.