RuPauls Drag Race star Cherry Valentine died by suicide, inquest confirms

The cause of RuPaul's Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine's death has been confirmed as suicide at an inquest.

Cherry, whose given name was George Ward, appeared on the show in 2021 and died aged 28 by hanging on 18 September 2022, an inquest has heard.

His death was discovered by his flatmate and friend in Hornsey, North London.

It is thought that George, who went by he/they pronouns outside of drag, had been “struggling” to deal with fame after appearing on the competition series.

The Drag Race contestant’s sleeping pattern had noticeably changed and he had suffered with depression before his death, flatmate Kate told a post mortem report.

It read: "[Kate] stated that he seemed normal but recently noticed that he had been sleeping late and getting up late.

"The subject was a successful drag queen, and [his friend] believes he had been struggling with his rise to fame after being on RuPaul's Drag Race.

"[Kate] also said [Ward]'s ex-partner had recently got engaged.

"[The friends] would regularly chat about their struggles, but [Kate] believed that Ward's extravagant behaviour was a mask.

"[Ward] previously suffered from depression… this is something he has battled with."

The hearing learnt that Kate had been out at a concert before she discovered George, reports the Sun.

Upon returning to the flat, she found a note telling her not to enter George’s bedroom as a clothes rack blocked the door.

Having called 999, the emergency team arrived too late to save George. He was declared dead at the scene.

George left three pages of notes in his bedroom to Kate, his family, and other unidentified people, the inquest heard.

In 2022, the Drag Race star featured on the show Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud, where he opened up about returning to the Traveller community after finding fame.

George had shared on RuPaul’s Drag Race that he was “disowned” when he first came out, forcing him to leave the Traveller community at just 18 years old.

Raised in Country Durham, George went on to qualify as a mental health nurse in 2015, before moving into a career in drag.

Following his death, his family said in tribute: "As his family, we are still processing his death and our lives will never be the same.

"We understand how much he is loved and how many lives he has inspired and touched.

"We love you Georgie.”

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit


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