RIP

Openly gay Deciem founder dead at 40 after posting unsettling video to Instagram

The openly gay founder of a $300 million+ skin care company has died after falling from a condominium building near downtown Toronto.

40-year-old Brandon Truaxe was the founder of the hugely successful skin care company Deciem. According to an internal email sent from Deciem’s chief executive Nicola Kilner, he died over the weekend.

“I can’t believe I am typing these words,” the email read. “Brandon has passed away over the weekend. Heartbroken doesn’t come close to how I, and how I know many of you will be feeling.”

According to WWD:

A spokeswoman for the Toronto Police said that the department responded to a call at 1:30 p.m. Sunday about a “jumper” at the intersection of Mill Street and Parliament Street, where a body was found. The spokeswoman said she was not able to confirm a name because the incident was not considered suspicious. Truaxe had given out his home address, 33 Mill St., on Instagram over the weekend.

On Saturday evening, Truaxe posted an incoherent and unsettling video to his Instagram page where he gave out his home address.

Just a few hours later, he was dead. Foul play is not suspected.

On Monday, Deciem posted a statement on its official Instagram account that read:

Brandon, our founder and friend. You touched our hearts, inspired our minds and made us believe that anything is possible. Thank you for every laugh, every learning and every moment of your genius. Whilst we can’t imagine a world without you, we promise to take care of each other and will work hard to continue your vision. May you finally be at peace. Love, (forever) your Deciem.

According to people close to Truaxe, his behavior had become increasingly erratic and unpredictable in recent months.

He would often post major business announcements to Instagram, CC reporters on sensitive internal company emails, and, last October, he abruptly shut down operations after claiming the company was guilty of financial crimes, which ultimately resulted in him being ousted from his job.

WWD reports:

That move led to Lauder seeking injunctive relief in Canada, which removed Truaxe from his post at the business and locked him out of Deciem’s Instagram account. Court papers from the proceeding said that on May 9, Truaxe was detained by authorities in the U.K. and taken to a psychiatric hospital in London for several days. He later stayed for three days at another psychiatric facility in Canada, according to the documents.

Truaxe continued to post on his own social media though — chronicling e-mails with lawyers, the news, his hotel stays and, most recently, his mezcal consumption, on his personal account, with fans frequently commenting with support and concern.