Shock news this morning as Nelly is confirmed dead.
After a long and bitter struggle with several addictions, a long court battle with ex-manager Toby Climatis and several sordid newspaper stories of seduction and sleaze, it is with sad regret that this evening, worldwide entertainment superstar and legend, Nelly, is pronounced dead.
The elephant was 87 and was found in her hotel room in Las Vegas. Friends are flying to the scene to be close to her.
She is widely remembered for long ago packing her trunk and saying 'goodbye' to the circus. Since then she didn't look back.
Her career was filled with highlights, the fairytale wedding to Prince Winkleman of Monacco, the three Oscar nominations, the three beautiful calves Simon, Alvin and Chesney.
But it all came at a cost. Addicted to prozac by the time she was 36 her life took a rapid change of course. She lost her husband at the World Poker Championships of '86, her calves disowned her and she ended up working back on the circus scene to survive.
Rumours of a possible comeback in the mid-ninties came to nothing, when she was photographed passed out through intoxication in her trailer on the A109 in Barnet.
The resultant scandals persisted with stories of male strippers and drug taking.
Her one time manager then sued for loss of royalties, but lost on account he passed away before the trial concluded. At the time it was thought the death was suspicious, but Nelly was cleared of any wrongdoing a year later.
She garnered a huge cult following in the UK and the USA for her involvement in the gritty BBC drama 'The Secret Lives Of Elephants' set in Kenya's Samburu reserve.
When the series ended she retired to Las Vegas, which many friends feared due to the temptations of the city.
She died of respiratory problems late last night.
Tributes will surely follow from her many friends in the industry. The funeral date is yet to be set.
More coverage as we get it.