It’s like an episode of “Gossip Girl” on crack — very, very bad crack. A New York fashionista jumped to her death Feb. 6 from the George Washington Bridge, leaving behind a designer handbag containing a handwritten manifesto about which of her frenemies should be banned from her funeral.
Ashley Riggitano was a jewelry designer and an intern for Alex Woo, Tommy Hilfiger, and Nicole Miller. She committed suicide on her 22nd birthday amid a nasty Facebook fight over a male acquaintance, according to reports by the New York Post.
Aspiring race car driver Drew Heissenbuttel was at the center of the online feud between Ashley and a woman named Alison Tinari, who apparently turned over the Facebook message exchange to the Post. One of the notes from Tinari said to Riggitano, “Go try to kill yourself on Xanax again, you unstable loser. Go f*** yourself and never speak to me again.”
Riggitano responded to Tinari by writing, “Thats called a threat, and a suicidal threat the police dont take that lightly since the boy in ridgewood killed because of someones [sic] words.” She was referring to Tyler Clementi, who also committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after his college roommate broadcast online a hidden camera video of a sex encounter between Clementi and another man.
Another woman Riggatoni prohibited from attending her funeral was her partner in their jewelry design business, Victoria Van Thunen, who attacked Riggitano on her own Facebook page hours before the suicide. Also banned are design school classmate Teresa Castaldo, publicist Beth Bassil, and longtime friend Samantha Horneff, who says she is shocked to be included on the list.
Riggitano’s note mentions a male who is allowed to attend the funeral, but she hopes he “gets what he deserves” when he arrives.
Ashley was a Manhattan transplant from New Jersey, and attended Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM). Fashion and jewelry designer Alex Woo, who employed Riggitano as part-time intern tells the Daily Mail, “[Ashley] always had a smile on her face,’ she didn’t look depressed.” Though Woo notes Ashley called in sick recently on the day of a major trade show, and took another sick day soon after that.
Medications including Adderall and Klonopin were found along with the note Inside the Louis Vuitton bag Ashley left on the bridge when she jumped.
The National Suicde Prevention Hotline has crisis counselors available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).