Designer Donatella Versace nearly died as a result of her 18-year struggle with cocaine.

The 50-year-old sister of late fashionista Gianni Versace, who was shot dead in 1997, refused to fight her addiction for years because she enjoyed it too much.

And if it hadn't been for the timely intervention of worried celebrity friends like SIR Elton John, Versace is convinced she would never have found the strength to defeat her drug demons.

Versace recalls, "I didn't feel I was addicted. Cocaine was fun. I was crying, laughing, crying, sleeping. If I didn't go (to rehab) I would have died."

24/04/2005 14:15