Duchess Sarah Ferguson’s former personal assistant murdered: ‘I’m shocked and saddened’
Sarah Ferguson expressed her shock and grief as she mourned the death of her former personal assistant, Jenean Chapman, who was murdered in Texas this week.
The 63-year-old Duchess of York paid tribute to Chapman in an Instagram post that she shared on Thursday.
“I am shocked and saddened to learn that Jenean Chapman, who worked with me as my personal assistant many years ago, has been murdered in Dallas aged just 46. A suspect is in custody,” Ferguson wrote.
She continued, “Jenean was loyal, hardworking, beautiful and fun and my heart breaks for her family and friends. I heard from her just a couple of months ago and she seemed so happy. Her family is raising money to transport her body back to New York City and pay for legal and funeral costs.”
“I will be making a donation and supporting the family in any way possible,” Ferguson concluded.
According to Fox affiliate KDFW, Dallas police said that Chapman was found dead in a downtown Dallas apartment on Monday. On Tuesday, a medical examiner determined that her cause of death was homicide.
The outlet reported that James Patrick, 48, who had been identified as the prime suspect, was arrested by University of Texas police at a hospital on Wednesday and charged with Chapman’s murder. Investigators would not disclose the reason why Patrick was hospitalized.
Chapman’s sisters Nicole and Crystal told KDFW that Chapman and Patrick dated on and off for six years before marrying in July.
The two admitted that they were “completely blindsided” by the news of their sister’s death and Patrick’s arrest.
“We just know in the last year, the relationship got really rocky,” Nicole told the outlet.
She went on to explain that Chapman moved to Patrick’s home state of Texas five months ago. She said that the family was not present when Chapman and Patrick married last July.
“That’s why I use the word ‘blindsided.’ because we did not see this coming,” Crystal said. “We knew that they had arguments, and that’s typical in relationships. It was a bit toxic, but we would never think it would be taken to this extreme where my sister would ultimately lose her life.”
In an interview with the Dallas outlet NBC5, Crystal and Nicole praised their late sister and her achievements.
“She was a force to be reckoned with, she was a role model. She was an amazing person, and I still look up to her. I always look up to her as like what I wanted to accomplish in my corporate career,” Nicole said.
They told the outlet that Chapman began working for Ferguson after graduating from Syracuse University with a TV, film and production degree.
“Her first job out of college was working with Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York,” Crystal explained. “So she worked with the royal family as a personal assistant, and then from there, she worked at Def Jam, so she worked with the Simmons family.”
Crystal and Nicole told NBC5 that Chapman’s career took her from New York to San Francisco and then to Dallas.
“She was just an accomplished intellectual,” Nicole said. “She was a kind person and compassionate. She had a heart of mush.”