Charlotte Dawson's birth mother has suffered new disappointment after missing her daughter's New Zealand memorial.

Dawson took her life in her Sydney waterfront apartment last month, and about 70 of the glamorous model-turned-media personality's closest family and friends were invited to a private celebration of her life at Matakana, north of Auckland, last weekend.

But mum Carole Warner told the Herald on Sunday she wasn't able to travel to the memorial from her Waikato home because she was ill.

"I was invited to go and I was intending to go but I just got sick," said Warner. "I was very sad I wasn't able to attend."


Warner had Charlotte when she was 17 but was unable to keep her and adopted out the baby she knew as Joanne.

They were reunited in 2002 but the relationship proved difficult to maintain after so long apart.

Warner made a heartfelt plea for people to give the family space to grieve. "It's time to let it be and let her rest," she said.

Dawson had most recently worked as a judge on the television show Australia's Next Top Model but quit the role and was having financial difficulties.

A memorial attended by 150 of her Australian friends and work colleagues was held in Sydney shortly after her death.

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