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Brother Says SF Socialite Found Dead Was Bipolar

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Jewelry designer and socialite Amber Marie Bently at the cocktail reception of the opening of the SF Opera in San Francisco, on September 5, 2008. (Photo courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle)

Jewelry designer and socialite Amber Marie Bently at the cocktail reception of the opening of the SF Opera in San Francisco, on September 5, 2008. (Photo courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle)

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RENO (CBS/AP) — According to her brother, a San Francisco socialite and businesswoman found dead in Nevada last week was bipolar.

Arik Barnett of San Luis Opispo, Calif., told the Reno Gazette Journal (http://on.rgj.com/14kQ9TO ) that his sister, Amber Marie Bently, was committed to a mental hospital in Texas last year.

The software engineer says his sister went from one doctor to another who diagnosed her with bipolar disorder and gave her drugs to treat it, but she disagreed she had the illness.

The body of the 34-year-old Bently was discovered July 19 in her Gardnerville apartment. Authorities say she had been dead several weeks before her body was found, and there was no sign of foul play.

She had been living alone in the apartment since April 17, and had separated from her husband Christopher Bently.

He heads several companies founded by his late father, Donald Bently, a prominent engineer, philanthropist and businessman who died in October at the age of 87.

Arik Barnett told the Gazette-Journal that Christopher Bently “took as good care of Amber as he possibly could, and he was deeply concerned about her.”

He stresses that his sister used to be “focused and driven,” but “wasn’t herself” in recent years.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

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