Martine McCutcheon shares heartbreak over brother's sudden 'unexplained' death
Martine McCutcheon has shared the sad news that her brother has died suddenly aged just 31, saying "my heart is forever broken".
The former EastEnders star and Love Actually actor posted a photo of herself with her younger brother Laurence John, known as LJ, and said that he had died two weeks ago with "no medical explanation".
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She wrote: "My heart is forever broken…My baby brother, my gentle giant, sadly passed away, suddenly, 2 weeks ago. He was 31 years old.
"There is no medical explanation as to why we lost him so soon and whilst we investigate further, we are having to accept that nothing will bring our boy back to us."
McCutcheon, 46, told how she had felt protective over her brother and had wanted to shield him from her own fame.
She wrote: "L.J (Laurence John) was born when I was 15 years old and from the moment I first held him in my arms, I felt so proud and fiercely protective of him."
"Whilst he was always so proud of me and would tell the world I was his sister - I always wanted to protect him from the limelight and the characters that could be drawn to him for the wrong reasons," she continued.
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McCutcheon also shared that LJ had "a mild form of special needs" and added that he "took hold of life with both hands and smashed through any expectation we had of him".
She said that she had been due to be bridesmaid at his wedding next month and wrote: "The last time I saw him, was a few days before he passed. He, jack and his future stepson had been to try on their wedding suits and then they came back to have dinner with his fiancée and the family to see our new home. He looked so tanned, tall and handsome. The best I’ve ever seen him… Ironic really…
"My heart aches for all who have lost him. But my heart breaks for our mum, his dad John & his Step parents. You should never outlive your children. Im scared to live without you LJ but I know you will want us to truly live, laugh and love in your memory. I will try I promise."
McCutcheon's friends offered their condolences, with Sheridan Smith commenting: "Oh I am so sorry Martine."
Billie Shepherd wrote: "I am so sorry to hear this Martine sending you and family lots of love and strength."
Myleene Klass wrote: "Martine. My heart is utterly broken for you. I am so very sorry."