LOS ANGELES—Adult model Cleopatra of the Nile died Monday of heart failure while under care at UC Keck Medical Center. She was 43.
A native of Australia with Egyptian lineage, Cleopatra's widely varied pursuits included fetish modeling, webcamming, directing and editing, as well as jewelry making and mainstream acting. She held bachelor's degrees in both economics and business, and also minored in law. Well-liked among the industry community and a regular presence at adult events during her roughly 10 years in the business, she was inducted in 2010 into the ranks of AVN Hall of Famer William Margold's own Legends of Erotica.
Close friend Nancy Monroe, who for a time co-hosted adult icon Ginger Lynn's Blame It on Ginger radio show, told AVN that Cleopatra had suffered since a young age from cystic fibrosis, something she shared with few until recent years when the illness forced her to leave adult behind and work mostly from home in other arenas. Monroe said that by the end, only one-third of one of Cleopatra's lungs was functional. She had been on two lung transplant lists, and required breathing machines and mobile air tanks in order to keep breathing.
In addition, Cleopatra had diabetes, which recently led to diabetic retinopathy that rendered her blind. According to Monroe, she "was on the road to regaining her sight when she began doctor visits and telling me she was in a 'Scorpio Funk' and unhappy. Yet it felt like more."
Monroe continued, "We were chatting just last week and she never said she was in the hospital. Instead my last call with her on Saturday was, 'I am fading, so sick girl, so much trouble talking ... call me in a few days." My last words were our usual, 'OK, love you girl.' She was a wonderful, brave woman that fought adversity fearlessly. She is a woman that left her footprint on many hearts and shall not be forgotten."
Director/performer and industry journalist Steve Nelson, who broke the news of Cleopatra's passing Wednesday on his website AINews.com, echoed those sentiments in his story, writing that she "will be fondly remembered by most everyone who has been in the industry for the past 10 years. ... Throughout all her hardships she remained strong and resolute."
Another close friend, industry personality and publicist James Bartholet, told AVN, "I will miss my dear friend and send my deepest condolences to her family. I have so many wonderful memories of her, not just as a co-host and client, but mostly as a friend. I'll miss her drive, spirit and love and respect for this industry, and her love for her fans worldwide. She was a true star and a wonderful woman and loving friend. She was a wonderful force of energy and love, she loved and respected everybody, and she will always be in our hearts and minds. Rest in peace, my friend."
Monroe indicated that a memorial for Cleopatra is being planned for mid-September. Those interested in further details may inquire through Monroe's website, NancyMonroe.com.
Photo of Cleopatra by Gia Jordan from 2008 'MySpace 4' release party.