Model’s Insta-fame ‘struggle’ before fall
A young tourist who fell to her death at a notorious selfie cliff had "struggled" with her sudden Instagram fame and the "cruelty" of online trolls, her mother has revealed.
Madalyn Davis, 21, tragically plunged to her death at Diamond Bay Reserve in the affluent Sydney suburb of Vaucluse about 6.30am on Sunday.
The Instagram model had been at a party when she and seven friends decided to head to the cliffs in the early hours of the morning to take a photograph.
But her fateful quest for a photo was met with fierce criticism online, as streams of comments flooded her Instagram page, calling her last act "stupid".
After previously defending her daughter's final moments, her mum Rebecca Smith has spoken out against the "nasty people" who mocked her death in a statement issued on a relative's Facebook account.
"Madalyn was an introverted extrovert. She struggled with a world that could be so unkind and was a good person that always saw the best in people. Sadly, sometimes that was taken advantage of," she posted.
The "full and final" statement from the family went on to describe the "pain" she suffered as a result of being so public with her 20,000 followers, saying it "left her vulnerable to abuse, resentment and manipulation".
"Despite this, Maddie still faced every day with optimism, and a smile on her face. She was determined to find the better place that she hoped the world could be," the message continued.
"Madalyn found fame inadvertently through the expression of her art which she shared via social media.
"This enabled her to find a way to function in this world that could be so judgmental and cruel. She was acutely aware of this contradiction but her passion and zest for life meant she was able to continually overcome it."
Madalyn, from Lincoln in the UK, quit her job as a make-up artist to go travelling in November.
Her Instagram account showed her in Thailand and Bali before she arrived in Australia.
It is believed she slipped while posing for a photo around 6.30am on Sunday with rescuers finding her body in the water four hours later.
The backlash from her quest for a sunrise selfie led mum Rebecca to post on her own Instagram account on Tuesday, describing what happened as a tragic "mistake".
"My daughter was not self-obsessed she was a wonderful beautiful person that made a mistake," she wrote.
"How can you write such things? She has a little sister and brother who be reading this."
Friends have also left comments on Ms Davis' final Instagram post, saying the accident has left them heartbroken.
"What happened to Maddy was a mistake and no one should be blamed especially not her," Meg Feather wrote on her Instagram account, adding "she didn't deserve it".
Another said: "Nobody needs to be commenting nasty or hurtful comments on her page, she has just lost her LIFE. It's so cruel to see. You should be utterly ashamed of yourselves."
"To all those making rude comments, just stop," another begged.
Rebecca has also now launched a GoFundMe account, lobbying to raise awareness of cyberbullying in her daughter's memory.
She said she would lobby Instagram to take the issue more seriously.