(fashion) Miss Lapper said 19-year-old Parys (pictured together) suffered depression and anxiety and turned to drugs as he was tormented by classmates who called her a 'crip'
Grieving artist Alison Lapper has revealed her son struggled with school bullies, social media pressure and drugs before he 'accidentally overdosed'.
Miss Lapper said 19-year-old Parys suffered depression and anxiety and turned to drugs as he was tormented by classmates who called her a 'crip'.
The 54-year-old, who was born without arms and with shortened legs, became one of the most famous pregnant women in Britain when artist Marc Quinn made a sculpture of her that stood in Trafalgar Square, London.
Parys was found dead in a Worthing hotel on August 13 and was laid to rest at the town's crematorium in West Sussex on Thursday.
His body was laid out on cushions at home as Miss Lapper cried, hugged and kissed her son for eight hours before the service.
The student's life had been a struggle as he battled anxiety and depression - worsened by pressure from social media.
It led him to taking drugs and Miss Lapper revealed Parys may have overdosed accidentally, according to police.
Alison Lapper watches ahead of the funeral for her son Parys, 19, at Worthing Cemetery on Thursday with her fiancé, Si Clift
Miss Lapper posed for Marc Quinn in 2000, and his marble sculpture was on display in Trafalgar Square from 2005 to 2007
She told the Sunday Times: 'He was out of control and I couldn't help. Not being able to help, I felt so bloody useless.'
Parys's life was watched by millions of BBC viewers as he featured in the acclaimed documentary series, Child of Our Time, presented by Professor Robert Winston.
The idea was to observe 25 youngsters until they reached their 20th birthdays.
Parys is the only one of them to have died before reaching that milestone.
His personality started to change at high school in their native Shoreham-by-Sea, near Brighton.
He lost his confidence and asked his mother not to attend parents' evening from the age of 13.
Miss Lapper said she could tell he was anxious that 'we were the show'.
She said: 'The next day Parys would go in and they would rip pieces out of him.'
After being moved to a smaller school, Parys left and started spending more time on social media.
Speaking movingly after Parys's birth at 35 weeks in 2000, Miss Lapper said: 'When I saw him, I just cried and cried'
Miss Lapper said: 'Parys didn't like his body. I thought I could teach him to, but it's a social media nightmare, isn't it? There's always someone with a six pack or bigger. That's the problem.'
Her son became shy and reclusive and quickly gave up on plans to become a model, photographer or scuba diver.
Miss Lapper said she realised this