Sophie Dahl almost started a business with a man on death row.

The supermodel-turned-cook book author - who lives in New York with her husband Jamie Cullum - was written to by a convicted US criminal, who made contact with her from prison and asked her to help him with his new company.

She said: "I ended up on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website because I received a letter out of the blue, via an agent, from a guy in jail - housed in a Texan facility. What he wrote was in equal parts unsettling, contradictory and heartbreaking, a personal account that stayed in my thoughts for a long time. I don't know why he picked me, and it took me a long time to decide not to write back. The thing he was proposing (an entrepreneurial business plan on his part) would, I think, have compromised my safety. It would have been a bit mad to comply with it."

Although she refused his offer, the 32-year-old beauty considered posting him a parcel filled with books to fill his time, but changed her mind because she got paranoid he would track her down.

She explained to Vogue magazine: "I thought about anonymously sending him some books instead. Then I got neurotic and wondered how many other young women in New York he had written to, and I figured that if it were none, he'd know for certain I was the correspondent. Even in the face of a plain brown package, the New York postage would be the giveaway. Besides, the deciding factor in all this was that I looked him up on the correctional-facility website, discovered that the crimes he was in prison for were pretty hard to get past and that he was also on death row."