The First Wives Club author OLIVIA GOLDSMITH has died of complications following plastic surgery.

The 54-year-old - real name JUSTINE RENDAL - had been in a coma for more than eight days after she checked into a New York clinic on 7 January (04) for elective plastic surgery.

Her lawyer STEVEN MINTZ says, "We are saddened to announce the passing of Justine Rendal. It was her wish to donate organs to provide future life and comfort to others."

Problems arose when Goldsmith was administered anaesthesia before the operation, and she was transferred to another hospital, where she died yesterday (15JAN04).

Mintz continues, "She clearly died from injuries associated with the anaesthesia problem. It's very sad. The whole thing is just terrible."

The First Wives Club was made into a hit 1996 movie starring Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler.

Goldsmith had recently completed two new novels, DUMPING BILLY and CASTING OFF.

18/01/2004 00:12