Trinny Woodall reveals 'big impact' ex-husband's death had on daughter

Trinny Woodall reveals how the tragic death of ex-husband Johnny Elichaoff had a ‘big impact’ on her 19-year-old daughter Lyla who ‘grew up a lot’ after her father took his life

  • Trinny Woodall has spoken about the impact of her ex-husband’s death in 2014
  • Johnny Elichaoff, father of their daughter Lyla, fell from a multi-storey car park
  • The beauty entrepreneur had to tell the then-11-year-old her father had died 
  • Speaking on the How To Fail podcast, she said it had made her ‘grow up a lot’

Trinny Woodall has revealed how the tragic death of her ex-husband had a ‘big impact’ on their daughter Lyla.

The beauty entrepreneur said her daughter, who was 11 at the time, ‘grew up a lot’ after Johnny Elichaoff took his own life in 2014.

Speaking on the How To Fail podcast, the 58-year-old said she was proud of how strong Lyla, who is now 19, grew up to be.

‘The impact of something really big when you’re younger makes you, in some ways, grow up a lot, and in some ways remain a child for longer,’ she said.

‘I look in wonder at Lyla and think: “You so believe in yourself, even though it’s the weirdest upbringing you had and the most profound things happened to you”.’

Trinny Woodall said the death of her ex-husband made her daughter grow up. Pictured: Trinny (right) with her daughter Lyla (left)

Johnny Elichaoff took his own life in 2014. Pictured: Trinny (right) with her then-husband Johnny (left) at a gala in London in March 2008

On the podcast, which is hosted by journalist Elizabeth Day, Trinny said there were times she was left wondering if she was doing the right thing as a single parent. 

She said: ‘I think you question yourself more as a single parent more because there isn’t another person in the room to share the joy, the pain, the worry, the torture, whatever it might be bringing up children. 

‘So you will maybe say more often to yourself “have I done the right thing?”.

‘There have been times where things happened and people would look and think she shouldn’t have done that. That’s been where I’ve really questioned myself whether I made the right decision.’

She added that with the help of her maternity nurse, Jenny, she was able to play the role of ‘mother-father’ to Lyla.

She said: ‘Jenny was constant,  she was there. Jenny is weirdly like Lyla’s grandmother mother. My mother had Alzheimer’s so when Lyla was growing up she wasn’t a grandmother-mother. And I was kind of mother-father.’ 

Trinny would co-parent with Johnny from Lyla’s third to her sixth birthday, leaving on a Sunday to go and work on her famous fashion show and returning on Friday to spend the weekend with her daughter

Trinny paid tribute to Johnny, saying that while he was alive ‘we were the best parents’ before his death at the age of 55 at Whiteley’s shopping centre in Bayswater, west London.

She said: ‘There were times when as a separate couple we were the best parents, when he was well. And I really thought how lucky am I that we are so close that we can be incredibly supportive to each other in bringing up Lyla.’

Trinny and Johnny had married each other in 1999 after meeting in rehab, before divorcing in 2009 after which they remained on good terms. 

Johnny, who battled an addiction to painkillers for 20 years, had ‘lost everything’ in a series of failed oil investments before his death.

The drummer turned businessman had been talked down from the same spot 11 days previously and was sectioned briefly.

But he then returned to the shopping centre twice more in the space of five days before finally killing himself the next day, Westminster Coroner’s Court heard.

Trinny Woodall paid tribute to her ex-husband Johnny Elichaoff, after his death eight years ago. Pictured: A photo of Trinny, Johnny and their daughter Lyla

Johnny, who had battled an addiction to painkillers for 20 years, fell to his death from a car park roof in 2014. Pictured: Trinny and Johnny at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2007

On the podcast Trinny broke down as she described how she had to break the news to her 11-year-old daughter. 

‘It was a very difficult conversation,’ she said.

‘I was very lucky because when it happened she was at school. Two policemen came round to my house and told me.

‘My sister came round very quickly, she was great friends with Julia Samuel who’s a fantastic grief therapist. 

‘She came round before my daughter had come back from school, she told me what to say, she gave me the words.’

Earlier this year Trinny paid tribute to Johnny on Instagram on the anniversary of his death, posting a touching photo of him and their daughter.  It was accompanied by the caption: ‘Forever in our hearts. ❤️ 1959-2014.

‘There are many stages of grief and I think now after all the pain, anger and why, I just feel the tragic loss of a kind, funny, loyal man that I remember now from him at his best.

 ‘For anyone going through loss I couldn’t recommend more 2 books by @juliasamuelmbe – Grief Works and This too shall pass. She was the greatest help to us at a very challenging time.’

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