or better part of a decade, the gossip media devoted a steady stream of coverage — much of it derisive — to socialite "It Girl" Casey Johnson, heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune and frequent companion of Paris Hilton. But, according to reports, Casey's increasing erratic behavior had recently led friends to suspect that the bisexual wild child — who died Monday at age 30 — had serious substance abuse problems. Here is a timeline of her tumultuous life:
Sept. 24, 1979: Casey Johnson is born to Robert Wood Johnson IV and Sale Johnson. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Robert Wood Johnson I, founder of Johnson & Johnson.
Childhood: Grows up as a child of great privilege on New York's wealthy Upper East Side, moving in the same circles as the young Paris and Nikki Hilton. Diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 8.
1994: Co-authors the book Managing Your Child's Diet with her father, "Woody" Johnson, at age 14.
High school: Attends Chapin, an exclusive New York City private school; its alumni also include Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy; designer Vera Wang; and Sunny von Bulow (another diabetic socialite), whose husband was convicted — later overturned — for attempting to kill her with an insulin overdose.
College: Attends Brown but drops out during freshman year to intern with publicist Lizzie Grubman, who later achieved notoriety for backing her SUV into a parking lot full of people at a Southampton, N.Y., bar. Casey Johnson was present when the incident occured.
2000: Casey's father buys the New York Jets for $635 million.
2002: Featured (along side the Hilton sisters) in It Girls, a documentary shot during Fashion Week 2000. According to the New York Times, "Casey Johnson, the baby powder heiress and one of the film's subjects, gives some helpful advice [in the film]. It Girls should never wear stockings in the winter, and they should always be polite to waiters."
2004: Casey's uncle Jamie Johnson directs a documentary called "Born Rich," exploring the ways in which inherited wealth can be "a curse."
2006: Poses without clothes — other than a delicately positioned scarf — for a photo in Vanity Fair
2007: Adopts a baby girl from Kazakhstan. Names the child Ava-Monroe as a tribute to her idol Marilyn Monroe.
January 2009: Reportedly brawls with on-again-off-again girlfriend Courtenay Semel, daughter of former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel, who reportedly sets Johnson's hair on fire during the melee.
November 2009: Arrested on grand theft charges, after allegedly breaking into the Hollywood home of ex-girlfriend and model Jasmine Lennard; accused of stealing $22,000 worth of clothes, jewelry, and other possessions.
Dec. 9, 2009: Via a YouTube video, announces her engagement to reality TV star Tila Tequila who comments: "Tonight, my beautiful girlfriend has just asked me to marry her and check out this rock. Bam! That is a 17-carat diamond ring from my baby."
Dec. 21, 2009: According to The New York Post, Johnson's "house on Mulholland Drive is a mess. The electricity is off, there are rats, the pool is green. [Johnson] was supposed to be evicted and her Porsche is being repossessed." Casey flies to New York try to reclaim custody of daughter Ava-Monroe from her mother.
Dec. 29, 2009: Updates Facebook status: "Sweet dreams everyone" at 1:12 a.m.
Jan. 4, 2010: Casey Johnson's body is discovered by her maid in her Mulholland Drive home. It had reportedly been there for "several" days. Los Angeles homicide officers initially determine that Johnson died from "natural causes."
Jan. 5, 2010: Ed Winter, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner's office, announces that the cause of death may not be determined for "four to six weeks, pending the outcome of toxology tests."
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